The Short Story

The meaning of a story has to be embodied in it, has to be made concrete in it. A story is a way to say something that cannot be said any other way, and it takes every word in the story to say what the meaning is...When anybody asks what a story is about the only proper thing to tell him is to read the story. The meaning of fiction is not abstract meaning but experienced meaning.

—Flannery O'Connor

While short stories tell us things we don't know anything about—and this is good of course—they should also, and maybe more importantly, tell us what everybody knows but what nobody is talking about. At least, not publicly.

—Raymond Carver

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