This Subject Includes

  • Course No: HS 139
  • Course:
  • Semester: IV
  • Title: The Short Story: Theory and Perspectives
  • Stream: English
  • Preamble: This course will introduce students to the short story as a literary form. Unlike the novel which has received greater critical attention, there has been a paucity of debates around the short story. The coursewill address the few debates that have addressed the short story in terms of its formal elements, and the popular understanding of the short story as that which is bound by a certain length and structured around an event. There will be readings of specific short stories from different cultures and regions that will enable comparative studies of the short story.

    Course contents The short story: modern history and form; the short story and the novel; theories of the short story: Dominic Head, Victoria Patea; formal elements: genre, length, event; thematic concerns; comparative studies; readings: Anton Chekhov, Guy de Maupassant, Franz Kafka, Edgar Allan Poe, Rabindranath Tagore.


    1.A. Chekhov, The Lady with the Little Dog and Other Stories,Penguin, London, 2002.

    2.G. de Maupassant, Pierre and Jean and Selected Short Stories (Translated by Lowell Bair), Bantam Books, New York, 1992.

    3.F. Kafka, Stories-1904-24(Translated by J.A. Underwood, Mac Donald & Co., London,1981.

    4.E. A. Poe, The Complete Stories, Campbell, London, 2002.

    5.K. Mehta (Ed.), The Twentieth Century Indian Short Story, Creative Books, New Delhi, 2004.

    6.D. Head (Ed.), The Cambridge History of the English Short Story, Cambridge University Press, New York, 2016.

    7.V. Patea (Ed.), Short Story Theories: A Twenty First Century Perspective, Rodopi, New York, 2002.

    8.M. Ramanan and P. Sailaja (Eds.), English and the Indian Short Story: Essays in Criticism, Orient Longman Ltd., New Delhi, 2000.

    9.C. E. May (Ed.), The New Short Story Theories, Ohio University Press, Athens, 1994.