Finding The big in the Little:
Henry James: “a story is a tiny nugget with a hard latent value.”
Bernard Malamud: The short story packs a self in a few pages predicating a lifetime. A short story is a way of indicating the complexity of life in a few pages, producing the surprise and effect of a profound knowledge in a short time. A short story is a way of indicating the complexity of life in a few pages, producing the surprise and effect of a profound knowledge in a short time. There’s, among other things, a drama, a resonance, of the reconciliation of opposites: much to say, little time to say it, something like the effect of a poem.
Chekhov: once told a writer that his works "lack the compactness that makes short things alive."
Donald Barthelme: “Fragments are the only forms I trust.”
Richard Bausch: The short story is such a persistent form, for the fact is that there are matters of the spirit the short story addresses better than any other literary art.
Clare Boylan: “I love the feeling with the short story of the world is in the detail and that small random acts can set ordinary lives alight or consume them to ash.”
Richard Ford: “Short stories want to give us something big but want to do it in precious little time and space. “Short stories feel as though they arise out of some fierce schism that by their very existence they mean to reconcile. And fascination edging on to mystery does exist in the discrepancy between the ingenious capacity of great stories to penetrate us and our ineludible awareness of their brevity.”
Amy Hempel, 1988: “The trick is to find a tiny way into a huge subject.”
Stephen Millhauser: “I imagine the short story saying to the novel: You can have everything — everything — all I ask is a single grain of sand. The novel, with a careless shrug, a shrug both cheerful and contemptuous, grants the wish. But that grain of sand is the story’s way out. That grain of sand is the story’s salvation. I take my cue from William Blake: “To see a world in a grain of sand.” Think of it: the world in a grain of sand; which is to say, every part of the world, however small, contains the world entirely. Or to put it another way: if you concentrate your attention on some apparently insignificant portion of the world, you will find, deep within it, nothing less than the world itself. The short story concentrates on its grain of sand, in the fierce belief that there — right there, in the palm of its hand — lies the universe.”