Thinking of the Catalan painter Tapies I photograph these walls and the hoarding separating the building site from the road. Yes, I'm still on holiday in the photo archives at least.
Never entirely happy with the present way of describing the short, short stories in my new blog, One Fine Day, I am grateful to my friend Lucy Kempton who in an email yesterday called them "flash fiction". Sometimes a label can be an inspiration. The word fiction particularly appeals because they establish a link with the great Argentinian writer, Jorge Luis Borges who called his stories (often very short and quite unlike anything else in the genre) Ficciones.
Now is the season of catalogues which come through the letter box instead of letters. Do you remember letters? Emails have been with us for so long. Many of the catalogues offer useless and bizarre objects the oddness of which tickles the imagination. One of the books listed in Presents for Men is 101 Things to Do in a Shed.
I have finally come up with a name for a short story which might help me arrive at a definition (which I am delighted to report is beginning to take shape: one problem - should the definition be capable of encompassing a bad short story as well as a good one).
Schubert wrote quite a few for piano and called them impromptus.
Impromptu suggests something to which little effort or thought has been devoted. Your stories so far show that, as with your novels, too much thought and care are evident to be called impromptus. Speaking for myself, although the stories which have emerged on the screen may seem to have come in profusion, there has been a lot of thought and, though the outcome may suggest otherwise,
considerable revision involved.
Meanwhile I love the idea of impromptu stories, fresh and unpolished as I was trying to say the other day, but beyond my capabilities at the moment, unless blessed by a coalition of environment, good company and alcohol, acting together in one of those sublime moments which occur too rarely in our lives. The Bloggers Retreat might be a good starting point.
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