“Brevity is the soul of wit”: Ian McEwan’s Short Prose Cover Image
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“Brevity is the soul of wit”: Ian McEwan’s Short Prose
“Brevity is the soul of wit”: Ian McEwan’s Short Prose

Author(s): Monica Cojocaru
Subject(s): Literary Texts, Fiction, Novel, Short Story
Published by: Editura Universitatii LUCIAN BLAGA din Sibiu
Keywords: Ian McEwan; short story; novella; literature of shock; narrative ethics; metafiction

Summary/Abstract: Though often relegated to ancillary scholarly inquiry and overshadowed by the popularity of the novel typically at the centre of academic consideration and appreciation, short prose has captured the attention of contemporary critics who have rehabilitated it as a living form of literature and a valid subject for academic debate. Making his literary debut with two collections of short stories largely regarded as ‘shock lit,’ Ian McEwan has staged repeated comebacks to short prose throughout his career, a form that he has remodelled and refined in different manners and contexts. Centring on the writer’s early short stories as well as his more ‘mature’ novellas and his integration of the short story form into his lengthier works, my article discusses McEwan’s career-long interest in the short form and the ways in which he handles the genre, evolving from his initial shocking tales devoid of all morality to more ethically infused and self-reflexive renditions of short fiction.

  • Issue Year: 17/2017
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 100-111
  • Page Count: 12
  • Language: English