The Emergence of the Short Story in the Nineteenth Century Criticism: The Short Story In France And Russia - Essay

Una A. Taylor (essay date July 1913)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Taylor, Una A. “The Short Story in France, 1800-1900.” Edinburgh Review, no. 445 (July 1913): 137-50.

[In the following essay, Taylor recounts the nineteenth-century shift in the French conte from the aesthetic compositions of Mérimée, Gautier, and Flaubert to the lucid simplicity of Maupassant's short stories.]

It was during the period when the genius of romanticism had saturated the public with exuberant rhetoric and eloquent sentimentalism, typified by Victor Hugo and George Sand, that the contes of Mérimée and Gautier revindicated, in different fashion and by opposite methods, the supreme value of form in composition and of that unity...

(The entire section is 5321 words.)

Alfred G. Engstrom (essay date 1945)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Engstrom, Alfred G. “The Formal Short Story in France and Its Development before 1850.” In Studies in Language and Literature, edited by George R. Coffman, pp. 249-60. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1945.

[In the following essay, Engstrom defines the French short story (conte), and chronicles early works in this genre by Mérimée, Balzac, and Gautier.]


The first half of the 19th century saw the formal evolution and early development of the modern short story.1 Much of the best brief fiction published during these years differs greatly in both form and content from that which came before; but...

(The entire section is 4817 words.)

Albert J. George (essay date 1964)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: George, Albert J. “Conclusion.” In Short Fiction in France, 1800-1850, pp. 225-35. Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 1964.

[In the following excerpt, George focuses on the formal transformation of the French conte into the modern short story in the first half of the nineteenth century.]

During some fifty years of anguished travail, French short fiction slowly groped its way to mature respectability. In that relatively short time it managed to overcome the taint of plebeian origins which for centuries had kept the brief narrative in literary limbo. Long-deferred change overtook time-honored but limited forms when the coincidence of a technological...

(The entire section is 3503 words.)

Eileen Baldeshweiler (essay date summer 1969)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Baldeshweiler, Eileen. “The Lyric Short Story: The Sketch of a History.” Studies in Short Fiction 6, no. 4 (summer 1969): 443-53.

[In the following excerpt, Baldeshweiler analyzes the so-called “lyrical” short story as represented by the short fiction of Turgenev and Chekhov.]

When the history of the modern short story is written, it will have to take into account two related developments, tracing the course of the larger mass of narratives that, for purposes of clarification we could term “epical,” and the smaller group which, to accentuate differences, we might call “lyrical.” The larger group of narratives is marked by external action...

(The entire section is 1723 words.)

Murray Sachs (essay date 1969)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Sachs, Murray. Introduction to The French Short Story in the Nineteenth Century: A Critical Anthology, edited by Murray Sachs, pp. 3-13. New York: Oxford University Press, 1969.

[In the following excerpt, Sachs considers the crystallization of the modern short story in French literature around 1830.]

As a literary art form, the short story emerged even later among the Western literatures than did its late-blooming next-to-kin, the novel. We generally think of the modern novel as an eighteenth-century development, mainly in France and England. But the modern short story did not crystallize into a recognizable genre until a full century later, with the work of...

(The entire section is 3797 words.)