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English Literature: Short Short Stories and One-Line Poems by Dr Paul Williams, The University of Exeter

8th November 2012 @ 11:30 - 12:30

This session will look at some (very) short stories, and poems that consist of a single line. These texts are drawn from twentieth-century writers from around the world, including Guatemala, the Czech Republic, and the United States, but all the short stories and poems will be presented in English. We will consider the condensation of meaning in language, and why writers were led to create literary works in miniature. The session will involve some creative editing of the texts, and students will think about whether they still qualify as short stories or poems, and whether generic labels such as ‘science fiction’ have any relevance. By the end of the session, the students should have a greater appreciation of how every piece of punctuation and every word contributes to the meaning of the whole text.


Authors covered will include the short story writers Ernest Hemingway, John Barth, Franz Kafka, Fredric Brown, and Augusto Monterroso, and the poets Charles Reznikoff, e. e. cummings, and William Carlos Williams.

Suitable for: Year 11/Year 12

Preparation/Pre-reading: Students will be provided with a copy of the texts used during the session prior to the event. It would also be helpful for students to consider questions in advance relating to studying this subject at university. These questions may cover, for example, the application process, course structure, and university lifestyle.


8th November 2012
11:30 - 12:30
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