31. “Should I Stay or Should I Go?” American Restlessness and the Short-Story Cycle

  1. Alfred Bendixen Professor founder Executive Director2 and
  2. James Nagel Professor Rockefeller Fellow3
  1. Jeff Birkenstein

Published Online: 16 MAR 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9781444319910.ch31

A Companion to the American Short Story

A Companion to the American Short Story

How to Cite

Birkenstein, J. (2010) “Should I Stay or Should I Go?” American Restlessness and the Short-Story Cycle, in A Companion to the American Short Story (eds A. Bendixen and J. Nagel), Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444319910.ch31

Editor Information

  1. 2

    Texas A&M University, USA

  2. 3

    University of Georgia, USA

Author Information

  1. Saint Martin's University, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 16 MAR 2010
  2. Published Print: 19 FEB 2010

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405115438

Online ISBN: 9781444319910

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Keywords:

  • “Should I Stay or Should I Go?” - American restlessness and the short-story cycle;
  • mythological reasons, for viewing America as a new Promised Land;
  • modern short story, developing and flourishing as a distinct American genre;
  • The American short-story cycle - closely mirroring development of the country;
  • brief history of American short-story cycle, with examples;
  • Irving composing The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent - his most famous work, as a cohesive series of stories;
  • novel and short story existing at opposite ends of narrative prose continuum - vibrant literary space existing between bookends;
  • history of development of genre - rife with prominent and superior cycles exploring the tension;
  • Welty's characters, everyday Mississippians - speaking regional dialect and ever-frustrated by universal tediums of life;
  • evolution of genre and nation - strength and popularity of American short-story cycle showing no signs of flagging

Summary

This chapter contains sections titled:

  • Introduction

  • A Brief History of the American Short-Story Cycle, with Examples

  • Solidifying a Genre: Sherwood Anderson's Winesburg, Ohio

  • Evolution of Genre and Nation: A Contemporary Example

  • Conclusion

  • References and Further Reading