Northampton Electronic Collection of Theses and Research

The novella: between the novel and the story

Kimber, G. (2016) The novella: between the novel and the story. In: Head, D. (ed.) Head, Dominic The Cambridge History of the English Short Story. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 530-546.

Item Type: Book Section
Abstract: The novella – often considered to be the most sophisticated mode of short fiction – has attracted some of the most renowned authors writing in English from the middle of the nineteenth century onwards. It is, however, a complex mode, so complex, in fact, that no one seems quite able to define it. The question of length is often taken as a starting point to identify a prose form mid-way between a novel and a short story, but this tells us nothing about the specifics of its formal features, or aesthetic effects. This problem is compounded, because – as Malgorzata Trebisz observes – there are no particular literary techniques used exclusively by any one of the fictional prose forms: similar techniques can be found in the short story, the novella and the novel. According to Robert Scholes, the difference lies in the purpose for which certain techniques have been used within all three genres. Trebisz extends this argument further, noting that ‘there do exist certain techniques which statistically occur more frequently in the novellas than elsewhere’ (p. 2). This chapter will examine such techniques, using a variety of authors associated with the novella genre: Joseph Conrad, Henry James, James Joyce, Katherine Mansfield, D.H. Lawrence, H.E. Bates, Alan Sillitoe and Ian McEwan. Mansfield in particular, in revising her novella ‘The Aloe’ into the more condensed ‘Prelude’, offers an unrivalled opportunity to witness the creation of one of modernism's most celebrated short fictions.
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PR English literature > PR821 Prose fiction. The novel
Creators: Kimber, Gerri
Editors: Head, Dominic
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Faculties, Divisions and Institutes: University Faculties, Divisions and Research Centres - OLD > Faculty of Education & Humanities > English and Creative Writing
Faculties > Faculty of Education & Humanities > English and Creative Writing
Date: 18 November 2016
Date Type: Publication
Page Range: pp. 530-546
Title of Book: The Cambridge History of the English Short Story
Place of Publication: Cambridge
Number of Pages: 668
Language: English
ISBN: 9781107167421
Status: Published / Disseminated
Refereed: Yes
URI: http://nectar.northampton.ac.uk/id/eprint/9002

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