No Title
Purabi Banerjee
COME BACK MY MASTER AND OTHER STORIES by K.S. Duggal Vikas publishing House, New Delhi, 1979, 252 pp., 35.00
SWORD & ABYSS: A COLLECTION OF SHORT STORIESby Keki N. Daruwalla Vikas Publishing House, New Delhi, 1979, 137 pp., 25.00
Nov-Dec 1978, volume 3, No 3

In his preface K.S. Duggal feels that the short story is a product of the twen­tieth century. It was born during the first World War, and ‘the subsequent period of distrust and dislocation of accepted norms of daily life fostered it.’ Rather a nega­tive way of looking at it—surely there were other reasons in the twentieth century which made it favourable for the short story to emerge. The increasing comp­lexity of the pattern of living which made it impossible for one to read long novels, the appearance of periodicals which offered scope to the novelist to write serially to start with and then to the short story writer, there were a number of factors which were responsible for the rise of the short story. So, the credit should not go entirely to the wars.

How does one judge a short story? Most readers assess it by the same criteria as a novel, not realizing that it is a differ­ent literary form and should be judged accordingly. If a novel is like a painting, the short story is like a sketch—a few deft strokes and the picture is ready. It is for the reader to fill in the details with his imagination. If the writer succeeds in firing his imagination, he is a good story writer.

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