In Julio Cortazar’s “The Continuity of Parks,” a plot twist turns the story inside out. In “The Blue Jar” by Isak Dinesen, a dream-like fable unfolds, but a story exists beneath the surface of what is told. In “Sticks” by George Saunders, the power of symbolism is explored and the human heart is laid bare. In these stories and others like them, we see how effective the flash form can be for employing clever devices that would not work in longer works of fiction. In some cases, flash fiction is the only form appropriate for a kind of rhetorical cleverness.
In this eight-week generative class, we will analyze these individual stories while determining what devices the authors have utilized to great effect. We will then determine what we can borrow in terms of technique. Each student will write and have the opportunity to workshop seven pieces of flash fiction.