One-Minute Book Reviews

August 1, 2007

What’s the Difference Between a Novel and a Short Story? Quote of the Day (Eudora Welty)

Filed under: Quotes of the Day — 1minutebookreviewswordpresscom @ 12:19 am
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May Sarton described one difference between a novel or short story and poetry in the quote of the day on July 10 What’s the difference between a novel and a short story? Here’s an answer from Eudora Welty:

“I like the fiction writer’s feeling of being able to confront an experience and resolve it as art, however imperfectly and briefly – to give it a form and try to embody it – to hold it and express it in a story’s terms. You have more chance to try it in a novel. A short story is confined to one mood, to which everything in the story pertains. Characters, setting, time, events, are all subject to the mood. And you can try more ephemeral, more fleeting things in a story – you can work more by suggestion – than in a novel. Less is resolved, more is suggested, perhaps.”

Eudora Welty in an interview with Linda Kuehl, Women Writers at Work: The Paris Review Interviews (Penguin, 1989), edited by George Plimpton. Introduction by Margaret Atwood. Reprinted from Writers at Work: The Paris Review Interviews: Fourth Series and issue No. 55 of the Paris Review, Fall 1972. To read the full interview click on and search for “Eudora Welty.”

Comment by Janice Harayda:

Welty made this comment in an interview conducted in 1972. Does her comment still apply today?

© 2007 Janice Harayda. All rights reserved.

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