Short Story Cycles

Introduction: On the Stickiness of the Short Story and the Cycle

Discussing why some short story cycles seem to stick together more cohesively, in the context of studies of affect, emotion, and feeling.

In lieu of an abstract, here is the first paragraph of the text:

The title of this introduction—”On the Stickiness of the Short Story and the Cycle”—refers to a number of concerns investigated in the roundtable and articles that make up the special section that follows: how stories in a cycle seem to stick together more cohesively than they do in other contexts, for example, and how and why the cycle form continues to stick around (in fact, even seems to be growing in popularity). This section aims to bring these questions of stickiness into conversation with another brand of stickiness—one that might be able to speak persuasively to the meeting of reader and cycle, or the meeting of characters within a cycle, or the meeting of different stories within a cycle. More broadly, the content in this section turns to short stories in general—the effects of their brevity and their necessary exclusions, their methods of making meaning (and of making readers make meaning), their historical and cultural roles. These concerns turn us toward the meaning of “stickiness” that has emerged in the context of studies of affect, emotion, and feeling—all concerns of this section, “Affect and the Short Story and Short Story Cycle.”


Paul Ardoin et Fiona McWilliam, “Introduction: On the Stickiness of the Short Story and the Cycle” , Journal of the Short Story in English  [En ligne], 66 | Spring 2016, mis en ligne le 01 mars 2018, consulté le 31 janvier 2023. 



The introduction I quote a paragraph from above was made for a “special section” of this journal called “Affect and the Short Story Cycle”. I have already indexed some of its texts – those which appear to be the most focused on short story cycles (not all texts in the “special section” have that focus, despite the title – for example, there is a very interesting article about Virginia Woolf and her musical inspiration, but it appears to deal with only a single of Woolf’s short stories).

Anyway, here are the texts I have already indexed from this collection:

“Preposterous Adventures”: Affective Encounters in the Short Story Cycle

Yearning, Frustration, and Fulfillment: The Return Story in Olive Kitteridge and Kissing in Manhattan

And here is the link to the full list of materials in this ‘thematic issue’: so you can peruse them yourself and decide if I have overlooked anything!

I don’t have complete consistency in my citations because I usually copy the local citation, wherever I find relevant materials for indexing – in this case, it is in French.


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