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Thursday, August 09, 2007

A Lament For The Novella

The indefatigable Literary Saloon alerts one to the debut of The New Haven Review of Books, and browsing though its contents, one came across an interesting and indignant piece by author Gregory Feeley lamenting the decline of the novella: "[It] is thriving in theory but not in practice, which has polarized around the Big Novel and (to a lesser degree) the short story. Unable to make it in the commercial markets, the novella has been driven into various niches of American publishing, like tiny creatures escaping predators. Lamenting this can induce readers to nod sympathetically, but I’m not sure how many truly care."

(An earlier piece on the novella's charms, by this guy, is here.)


  • But are novellas really that "uncommercial"? We're told time and again that the decline of serious readership is partly due to shortened attention spans and busier lifestyles, which if true (and I'm not so sure it is) would suggest that novellas would enjoy greater readership, at the expense of full-length novels.

    (Interestingly, the author failed to note Gabriel Garcia-Marquez's "Memories of My Melancholy Whores" which, at 115 pages, surely meets the author's definition of what constitutes a novella.)

    By Anonymous Pete, at 10:42 PM  

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