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example, analysis of character in Steven- When an author subordinates the artistic son's ""Markheim" and analysis of situa- purpose to the didactic, and arbitrarily tion in A. Conan Doyle's Sherlock
arranges plot, characters, and setting in Holmes stories) and the purely adventur- the pattern best adapted to the presentaous, the horrible and the humorous. There tion of an idea, he is dropping the rôle are stories that develop from an introduc- of artist for that of propagandist. And tory expository paragraph; those that pre- yet some writers possessing extraordinary sent the situation by means of dialogue; imaginative and creative powers have and those that jump immediately in used this form effectively. Nathaniel medias res for the purpose of riveting the Hawthorne had so much of the moralist reader's attention by a bit of vivid action. in his nature that his characters often apThere are stories whose inevitable con- pear rather as symbols of vices or virtues clusion one anticipates, watching with a than as human beings, and even external sort of hypnotism the trend of Fate; and objects like the "minister's black veil" those in which he is purposely led astray bear an inner meaning. so that the surprise ending may furnish If one compares a number of recent the thrill of the unexpected, a literary de- short stories with an equal number of the vice which O. Henry delights in.
period before the 1890 mark, he will noThe list is almost endless. It will be tice several important changes. Of late advisable, however, to emphasize the there has been a tendency to allow the standard classification which is based on Short Story a greater length than either permanent elements of the Short Story. Poe or De Maupassant would accede to. Every story has action (or plot), charac- Stories by Irvin S. Cobb, Fannie Hurst, ters who participate in the action, and and others often reach ten thousand background for the action and the charac- words, approaching in length but not in ters (or setting). In the compound of composition the novelette. Then, too, these three factors, one usually predom- the dialogue approximates more closely inates. Either the author has an unusual the language of speech, avoiding the opsituation whose resolution he wishes to posite extremes of "fine writing” and of make the chief interest, manipulating peo- burlesque. The increase in amount of ple and setting best to achieve this, as does this dialogue as compared with the pracDe Maupassant in “The Necklace"; or a tice of the pioneers is also significant, for character, like "Will o' the Mili"
it means that the modern short story Boaz Negro ("Footfalls”) whom he writer is borrowing more and more the places in that environment and situation dramatic method, and instead of relating which will illuminate a particular trait; laboriously each incident, is laying on the or (more seldom) an atmosphere whose characters the burden of carrying much of influence on the characters and their ac- the action through their conversation. tion is intended to be the central point of But all this is incidental to the great the story. If this atmosphere depends changes that are due to the winning of purely on locality, the result is the "local new fields for the Short Story-fields color" story, in which dialectic peculi- which modern science, psychology, and edarities, strange quirks of character, and ucation have opened, and for the exunusual ethical and moral codes play a pression of whose spirit and content old great part. Poe's “Fall of the House of forms must give place to new. Usher” is an almost incredible achieve- Definitions and classifications are usument in pure atmosphere, while Anzia ally inadequate. They represent what Yezierska's “Fat of the Land" gives an the critic has learned from the artist, not accurate picture of the New York what the critic, drawing from some fund ghetto.
of a priori knowledge, is going to teach There is sometimes a fourth type to add the artist. It is indeed fortunate that to this classification: the thesis story. often the writer, the painter, the musician refuses to be confined within those forms. Else how shall we account for circles with which self-appointed arbiters and classify the work of Sherwood Anhave circumscribed his art. By his de- derson, Waldo Frank, Anzia Yezierska, fiant violation of principles founded on and Anton Chekhov? Either we must past performance he opens a door through allow a bulge in some of our critical defiwhich his art can advance from old vic- nitions, or invent other terms to denote tories to new defeats, gaining strength new genres. Whichever we do, the sinlike Antæus with each overthrow; for cere artist will continue in the path of his this is the eternal law of change.
natural genius, whether it be toward And so the Short Story rising above its Romanticism or Realism, conventional formula, like a genie from a bottle, ap- form or experimentation, and be not at pears momently in new and varied all abashed.
JONAH The story of Jonah, which for years was a bone of contention between the literalists and the mockers, is in all probability a national tradition written down not by Jonah himself, who lived in the ninth century, but by some scribe about the year 500 B. C. Although in incident it is typical of the tales of miraculous deliverance then in vogue, the spiritual significance with which it is imbued, the lyrical exaltation of Jonah's invocation, and the human elements in the character of Jonah-inconsistence, vanity, peevishness, united at times with a disarming ingenuousness and conviction of wrong-doing-set this story quite apart from the average legend. The two episodes of this narrative are unified by Jehovah's purpose to make a trial of his prophet.
Now the word of the Lord came unto know for whose cause this evil is upon Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, “Arise, So they cast lots, and the lot fell go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry upon Jonah. Then said they unto him, against it; for their wickedness is come “Tell us, we pray thee, for whose cause up before me." But Jonah rose up to this evil is upon us.
What is thine ocflee unto Tarshish from the presence of cupation ? and whence comest thou? the Lord, and went down to Joppa; and What is thy country ? and of what people he found a ship going to Tarshish: so he art thou?" paid the fare thereof and went down into And he said unto them, “I am an Heit, to go with them unto Tarshish from brew; and I fear the Lord, the God of the presence of the Lord.
heaven, which hath made the sea and the But the Lord sent out a great wind
dry land." into the sea, and there was a mighty tem- Then were the men exceedingly afraid, pest in the sea, so that the ship was like to and said unto him, "Why hast thou done be broken. Then the mariners
this?” For the men knew that he fled afraid, and cried every man unto his god, from the presence of the Lord, because he and cast forth the wares that were in the had told them. Then said they unto him, ship into the sea, to lighten it of them. "What shall we do unto thee, that the But Jonah was gone down into the sides sea may be calm unto us?" for the sea of the ship; and he lay, and was fast wrought, and was temptestuous. asleep.
And he said unto them, “Take me up, So the shipmaster came to him, and and cast me forth into the sea ; so shall the said unto him, “What meanest thou, O sea be calm unto you: for I know that for sleeper? Arise, call upon thy God, if so my sake this great tempest is upon you.” be that God will think upon us, that we Nevertheless the men rowed hard to perish not."
bring it to the land; but they could not: And they said every one to his fellow, for the sea wrought, and was tempestu"Come, and let us cast lots, that we may ous against them. Wherefore they cried
unto the Lord, and said, “We beseech Jonah the second time, saying, "Arise, go thee, O Lord, we beseech thee, let us not unto Nineveh, that great city, and preach perish for this man's life, and lay not unto it the preaching that I bid thee."
upon us innocent blood:' for thou
, 0 So Jonah arose, and went unto Nine
Lord, hast done as it pleased thee." veh, according to the word of the Lord.
So they took up Jonah, and cast him Now Nineveh was an exceeding great forth into the sea : and the sea ceased from city of three days' journey. And Jonah her raging. Then the men feared the began to enter into the city a day's jourLord exceedingly, and offered a sacrifice ney, and he cried, and said, “Yet forty unto the Lord, and made vows.
days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown. Now the Lord had prepared a great So the people of Nineveh believed God, fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackwas in the belly of the fish three days and cloth, from the greatest of them even to three nights.
the least of them. For word came unto Then Jonah prayed unto the Lord his the king of Nineveh, and he arose from God out of the fish's belly, and said: his throne, and lay his robe from him, and
covered him with sackcloth, and sat in “I cried by reason of mine affliction unto ashes. And he caused it to be proclaimed the Lord, and he heard me;
and published through Nineveh by the Out of the belly of hell cried I, and decree of the king and his nobles, saying, thou heardest my voice.
“Let neither man nor beast, herd nor For thou hadst cast me into the deep, in flock, taste any thing. Let them not the midst of the seas;
feed, nor drink water: but let man and And the floods compassed me about: all beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry thy billows and thy waves passed over mightily unto God. Yea, let them turn
every one from his evil way, and from Then I said, 'I am cast out of thy sight; the violence that is in their hands. Who
yet I will look again toward thy holy can tell if God will turn and repent, and temple.'
turn away from his fierce anger, that we The waters compassed me about, even to perish not?” the soul :
And God saw their works that they The depth closed me round about, the turned from their evil way, and God re
weeds were wrapped about my head. pented of the evil that he had said that I went down to the bottoms of the moun- he would do unto them; and he did it not.
tains; the earth with her bars was about But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, me forever:
and he was very angry. And he prayed Yet hast thou brought up my life from unto the Lord, and said, “I pray thee, O corruption, O Lord my God.
Lord, was not this my saying, when I When my soul fainted within me, I re- was yet in my country? Therefore I membered the Lord :
Aed before unto Tarshish: for I knew And my prayer came in unto thee, into that thou art a gracious God, and merthine holy temple.
ciful, slow to anger, and of great kindThey that observe lying vanities forsake ness, and repentest thee of the evil. their own mercy.
Therefore, now, O Lord, take, I beseech But I will sacrifice unto thee with the thee, my life from me: for it is better for voice of thanksgiving;
me to die than to live. I will pay that that I have vowed.
Then said the Lord, "Doest thou well Salvation of the Lord !"
to be angry?”
So Jonah went out of the city, and sat And the Lord spake unto the fish, and on the east side of the city, and there it vomited out Jonah upon the dry land. made him a booth, and sat under it in the
And the word of the Lord came unto shadow, till he might see what would become of the city. And the Lord God And God said unto Jonah, "Doest thou prepared a gourd, and made it to come well to be angry for the gourd ?" up over Jonah, that it might be a shadow And he said, “I do well to be angry, over his head, to deliver him from his even unto death." grief. So Jonah was exceeding glad of Then said the Lord, "Thou hast had the gourd. But God prepared a worm pity on the gourd, for which thou hast when the morning rose the next day, and not laboured, neither madest it grow; it smote the gourd that it withered. And which came up in a night, and perished it came to pass, when the sun did arise, in a night. And should not 1 spare that God prepared a vehement east wind; | Nineveh, that great city, wherein are and the sun beat upon the head of Jonah, more than six score thousand persons that that he fainted, and wished in himself to cannot discern between their right hand die, and said, “It is better for me to die and their left hand; and also much catthan to live.”
THE BINDING OF FENRIS-WOLF
SNORRI STURLUSON Two of the earliest pieces of Norse literature are the Elder or Poetic Edda of unknown authorship, and the Younger or Prose Edda, usually ascribed to Snorri Sturluson, an Icelander of the twelfth century. While the latter was originally intended as a handbook for poets, in which are given stories of Norse mythology and cosmogony, along with certain instructions on the art of composition, the concise style and imaginative conceptions have intrinsic literary value. The Prose Edda properly belongs to the ancestry of the short story since it was from these early myths and legends that the first tales developed. In the story is a tone of sadness and sacrifice that reflects the grayness of northern skies.
"Yet more children had Loki. Angr- land; and this serpent grew so greatly boda was the name of a certain giantess that he lies in the midst of the ocean enin Jötunheim, with whom Loki? gat compassing all the land, and bites upon three children: one was Fenris-Wolf, the his own tail. Hel he cast into Nifheim, second Jörmungandr—that is the Mid- and gave to her power over nine worlds, gard Serpent,the third is Hel. But to apportion all abodes among those that when the gods learned that this kindred were sent to her: that is, men dead of was nourished in Jötunheim,; and when sickness or of old age.
She has great the gods perceived by prophecy that from possessions there; her walls are exceedthis kindred great misfortune should be- ing high and her gates great. Her hall is fall them; and since it seemed to all that called Sleet-Cold; her dish, Hunger; there was great prospect of ill-(first Famine is her knife; Idler, her thrall; from the mother's blood, and yet worse Sloven, her maid-servant; Pit of Stumbfrom the father's)-then Allfather4 | ling, her threshold, by which one enters; sent gods thither to take the children and Disease, her bed; Gleaming Bale, her bring them to him. When they came to bed-hangings. She is half blue-black and him, straightway he cast the serpent into half flesh-color (by which she is easily the deep sea, where he lies about all the recognized), and very lowering and
fierce. 1 From the Prose Edda translated by "The Wolf the Æsirs brought up at Arthur G. Brodeur. Published by The American-Scandinavian Foundation. Reprint
home, and Tyré alone dared to go to ed by permission.
him to give him meat. But when the 2 Incarnation of evil in Norse mythology.
5 Collective term, designating the Norse 3A region of cold and darkness, the abode gods. of the frost giants.
God of war, corresponding to the Latin 4Odin, corresponding to the Latin Jupiter. Mars.
gods saw how much he grew every day, roots under a rock; and by my troth, all and when all prophecies declared that he that I have told thee is equally true, was fated to be their destruction, then though there be some things which thcu the Æsir seized upon this way of escape; canst not put to the test.” they made a very strong fetter, which Then said Gangleri: “This they called Lædingr, and brought it be- tainly I can perceive to be true: these fore the Wolf, bidding him to try his things which thou hast taken for proo, strength against the fetter. The Wolf | I can see; but how was the fetter fashthought that no overwhelming odds, and ioned ?" Harr answered: "That I am let them do with him as they would. The well able to tell thee. The fetter was first time the Wolf lashed out against soft and smooth as a silken ribbon, but as it, the fetter broke; so he was loosed out sure and strong as thou shalt now hear. of Lædingr. After this, the Æsir made Then, when the fetter was brought to a second fetter, stronger by half, which the Æsir, they thanked the messenger they called Dromi, and bade the Wolf well for his errand. Then the Æsir went try that fetter, saying he would become out upon the lake called Amsvartnir, to very famous for strength, if such huge the island called Lyngvi, and summoning workmanship should not suffice to hold the Wolf with them, they showed him the him. But the Wolf thought that this silken ribbon and bade him burst it, sayfetter was very strong; he considered that ing that it was somewhat stouter than also strength had increased in him since appeared from its thickness. And each the time he broke Lædingr: it came into passed it to the others, and tested it with his mind, that he must expose himself to the strength of their hands and it did not danger, if he would become famous. So snap; yet they said the Wolf could break he let the fetter be laid upon him. Now it. Then the Wolf answered: 'Touchwhen the Æsir declared themselves ready, ing this matter of the ribbon, it seems to the Wolf shook himself, dashed the fet- me that I shall get no glory of it, though ter against the earth and struggled I snap asunder so slender a band; but if fiercely with it, spurned against it, and it be made with cunning and wiles, then, broke the fetter, so that the fragments though it seem little, that band shall flew far. So he dashed himself out of never come upon my feet.' Then the Dromi. Since then it passes as a pro
Æsir answered that he could easily snap verb, 'to loose out of Lædingr,' or 'to apart a slight silken band, he who had bedash out of Dromi,' when anything is fore broken great fetters of iron,-'but if exceeding hard.
thou shalt not be able to burst this band, “After that the Æsir feared that they then thou wilt not be able to frighten the should never be able to get the Wolf gods; and then we shall unloose thee. bound. Then Allfather sent him who is The Wolf said: 'If ye bind me so that called Skirnir, Freyr's messenger, down I shall not get free again, then ye will into the region of the Black Elves, to cer- act in such a way that it will be late ere tain dwarves, and caused to be made the I receive help from you; I am unwilling fetter named Gleipnir. It was made of that this band should be laid upon me. six things: the noise a cat makes in foot- | Yet rather than that ye should impugn fall, the beard of a woman, the roots of a my courage, let some one of you lay his rock, the sinews of a bear, the breath of a hand in my mouth, for a pledge that this fish, and the spittle of a bird. And is done in good faith. Each of the Æsir though thou understand not these matters looked at his neighbor, and none was willalready, yet now thou mayest speedily ing to part with his hand, until Tyr find certain proof herein, that no lie is stretched out his right hand and laid it in told thee: thou must have seen that a the Wolf's mouth. But when the Wolf woman has no beard, and no sound comes
Hart is relating the story of Fenrisfrom the leap of a cat, and there are no Wolf to Gangleri.