I have not been a fan of short stories very much; however, I do enjoy the witty development which tends, often, to take a moral high ground and preach the readers with a certain dignity about the vanity of this life and other issues. This development, I can easily find in the short stories by Anton Chekhov, O Henry and at times Oscar Wilde. In short, one can infer that I somehow like the short stories by these great authors but it should not, in any case, imply that I ‘DONT’ like the stories by others; it’s something like I just like these authors without unliking others. Luckily, to prove myself wrong, I got a book recently – Short Stories by Modern Writers (edited by R. W. Jepson). This is a beautiful, pocket-sized book which also looks attractive as much as the stories inside are amazing!
Theme and Technicalities of the Book:
The collection has great short stories, indeed, from likes of H H Munro (known was Saki), Katherine Mansfield, O Henry, C E Montague, H E Bates and many others. There are twelve short stories, to be transparent. The most liked one, I would say, for me is undoubtedly the short story by Katherine Mansfield – The Fly. This story has just made my day with the abundance of emotions in it. The courage of the fly and the incompetence of the person who just failed to acknowledge that are marvellous to read.
The story by Saki, as always, is unusual and typical Saki one. The moral, as usual in his stories, is quite broad. Incidental events take more price from us than the other ones. Tiger hunting and the fancies around it cost her more… Other than the short stories, the introduction by the editor R. W. Jepson is quite useful. He has enlisted all the important things about the included authors. His introductions to the writing styles of different authors are short as well as sufficient. He writes about Saki – ‘Saki owns nothing to America, or to Russia, or to anybody. He is unique, and his cynicism and his sanity are truly English.’ Likewise, the witty remark for Katherine Mansfield by the editor Jepson comes like this: “She shows a wonderful faculty of getting inside the skins of her characters, and of reproducing their deepest feelings with a sympathy and understanding that would disturb the most hardened cynic.”
Reasons you MUST read Short Stories by Modern Writers:
- Great collection… you will seldom find such masterpieces in a single book. I will say it frankly that there is no peer to be found to this collection!
- Great introduction to the authors included also makes this book a different one from the others which are there. The editor of this collection is a learned person and he has authored many books. His criticism is sharp enough to impress the readers in general with remarks on the authors.
- A mixed bag of short stories with some shorter and some lomger ones. The story by O Henry, (in fact, a play) Roads of Destiny goes too long while The Fly by Mansfield is shorter. Thus, it’s fun – read what you like depending on your mood to be sticking with the book!
In short, putting my words at rest, the book Short Stories by Modern Writers (R. W. Jepson edition) was a marvellous read for me. And most happily, I enjoyed every single page of this 223 paged book. Anyone who loves short stories must read this book and see the magic that shorter word arts create on the readers.