Uncategorized | October 6, 2008
Fiction writer Steven Millhauser writes in the Oct. 3 New York Times about “The Ambition of the Short Story.” Here’s an excerpt:
I take my cue from William Blake: “All the world in a grain of sand.” Think of it: the world in a grain of sand; which is to say, every part of the world, however small, contains the world entirely. Or to put it another way: if you concentrate your attention on some apparently insignificant portion of the world, you will find, deep within it, nothing less than the world itself. In that single grain of sand lies the beach that contains the grain of sand. In that single grain of sand lies the ocean that dashes against the beach, the ship that sails the ocean, the sun that shines down on the ship, the interstellar winds, a teaspoon in Kansas, the structure of the universe. And there you have the ambition of the short story, the terrible ambition that lies behind its fraudulent modesty: to body forth the whole world. The short story believes in transformation. It believes in hidden powers.
Read the rest of the story at http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/05/books/review/Millhauser-t.html