Short Fiction Period IV
September 17, 2012
“The Blue Bouquet” and its Critics
Short-short stories have been critiqued by countless writers and every single critic has a different mentality about what needs to be in a short-short story to make it a memorable one. There have been countless authors that try to create a short-short story but at the end of the day for one reason or another, their story was not considered a short-short. Through the critiques of Alice K. Turner, Joyce Carol Oates, and Leonard Michaels one can see how the story, “The Blue Bouquet,” is able to be considered a true short-short story.
A “zinger” or “snap” is what Alice K. Turner believes every well made short-short needs to have as its ending. The end of the “The Blue Bouquet” has that “zinger”. One would not anticipate the man to just leave the town without telling the story of his eye, yet he does which makes the story have that final “zinger” needed, which makes it a memorable story to its readers. Turner says, “‘Well, damn!’ I want to say at the end of a short-short, while figuratively slapping my thigh. Otherwise why not read something long enough to get your teeth into?” The twist is seen at the end of the story when the man mentions how much he wants eye of the other man. Turner also has a mentality that only very few people can write gifted short stories, Turner says “Either (you’ve) got the knack or (you) haven’t.”
Joyce Carol Oates says, “The form is sometimes mythical, sometimes anecdotal, but it ends with a final sentence, often a final word.” In “The Blue Bouquet” ends with a final sentence that leaves the reader a bit perplexed, but it abruptly ends the story. Paz writes, “The next day I left town.” Oates (wrote about short-short-stories and) explains why and how they are often enjoyable to read due to the fact they are full of adrenaline. According too Oats, there is always, a sense of activity going on during the story. Throughout,...