How and what do you write in a meta-commentary about the Short Story as a genre? I do know what a meta commentary is but how does one tackle it with the short story? it left me confused, because...

How and what do you write in a meta-commentary about the Short Story as a genre?

I do know what a meta commentary is but how does one tackle it with the short story? it left me confused, because usually meta commentaries are done on one's essay or work - not on the Short Story as a whole genre! 

any help would be very well appreciated :) thanks !

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wordprof | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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Meta in this usage means transcendent or comprehensive.  The questioner is asking you to make some comments about short stories as a whole genre, not on any specific stories or writers.  What differentiates the short story format from, for example, the novel or vignette?  What are its identifying features?  There is more to the genre than just its length and its fictiveness.  Discuss the way in which a short story condenses its exposition, its development, its mise-en-scene.  Discuss the nature of characterization—how does it differ from the more gradual and internalized character development in other fictive (or dramatic) forms?  What linguistic devices are used by the short-story writer to suggest rather than fully express?  Then, what emotional journey does a short story take the reader on that is specific to the genre—surprise, red herrings, “O. Henry” endings, false clues, etc.?  You might also explore the distribution of the short-story genre—anthologies, one-author collections, multi-author collections, etc.—and how that feature might affect the composition.  Take an overview of the dozens of short stories you have read, and find unifying features.  Vignettes are extremely short “trick”  stories, usually on one page—how does that description differ from a “short story”?

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