Martin Bihl's Reviews > The World of the Short Story: A Twentieth Century Collection

The World of the Short Story by Clifton Fadiman
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Apr 29, 2009

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Read in May, 2009

anthologies are always interesting to read. they can introduce you to writers you've heard of but never gotten around to, they can introduce you to writers you've never encountered before, and they can show you new sides of writers whose works you are familiar with.

such is the case with this anthology. usual suspects like hemingway, faulkner, fitzgerald, updike, cheever, borges, marquez, kundera, nabokov, greene and capote, are cheek by jowl with authors i was less familiar with (for example, kazakov, buzatti and beerbohm), giving us the best of both - or rather - all three worlds.

but there are also some strange idioscyncasies that mr. fadiman has let play. he hates, for example, fitzgerald and calls him highly over-rated in several places. and yet includes "babylon revisited", a truly powerful and amazing story. and he is still mad at the germans (whom he does not distinguish from the nazis and whom he does not include in this collection). and while he fawns over hemingway and calls sherwood anderson "dated", the hemingway story he includes ('my old man") is such an obvious copy of anderson's "adventure" as to misrepresent the former's style and ability.

nevertheless, this remains a valuable compendium of short stories, and one that i would recommend to anyone interested in the form.
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