Richard Nash is an independent publishing entrepreneur, presently launching Cursor, a start-up portfolio of social publishing imprints the first of which, Red Lemonade, was launched in Spring 2011.
Blog | Twitter: @R_Nash_
Novels can have pauses, faults: a long story wins by points. A novelette, as Julio Cortazar wrote, needs to win by knock-out. Do you agree?
Well let's flip it around. A novel can withstand an array of flaws, in fact, it may even need them. A novella can likely only handle one. A single deep flaw, a dark fold, a cyst.
Is there a literary bias against the short form of fiction?
I can't tell. I used to think certainly there was a commercial bias, in literary fiction, even if genre, especially SF and horror were quite comfortable. But now I think no, the form is fixed, the culture ebbs and flows around the form, like a coastline. So there's no fixed bias against short fiction any more than there is a fixed bias against fjords. But there will be fashions, for and against. There will always be fashion.
Plot, setting, ideas. What are in your opinion the perfect ingredients of a novelette/novella?
I rather like the sweeping novella. Yes, sure the classic one is singular but I like to feel the wind in my hair.
Would you suggest 3 must-read novelettes/novellas?
Bruce Chatwin's Utz.
James Joyce The Dead. (a true novelette...)
Muriel Spark The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie
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