The Ruricolist on the perfection of the short story

“There are too many short stories in the world. For all x, where x is heartbreaking or horrifying, mystifying or magnificent, pitiful or precius, agonizing or astonishing—some short story already satisfies it perfectly.

“There is always room for another novel. Novels are too long for perfection. All novels do something wrong, leave some promise unfufilled. There is always room in its interstices. The novel is fractal; from the right perspective we could see every novel grow from another—see Don Quijote as the Mandelbrot set, dark among haloes.


“But short stories can be perfect. Pry open the novelist and you find a frustrated reader of novels; pry open the director and you find a frustrated watcher of movies. But pry open a short story writer and you find delight and devotion. This is strange. Perfection is so high and cold a thing; it should quell and silence us, it should make us resort to some open and unfulfilled field. What could inspire us to imitate what we cannot rival?”
Short Stories, by Paul M. Rodriguez, Ruricolist, September 12, 2010

That should be the ever thought provoking Paul M. Rodriguez.

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