Stories require attention and concentration and often yield their meanings only over time, or in retrospect. But the best stories reward vigilance and repeated reading.
In a brief survey of some core Western texts, Oates asks the key question, why do we want to experience fear in an aesthetic context?
Thom Jones’s most famous story is about one U.S. Marine before, during, and after deployment to Vietnam.
Short stories offer a different kind of pleasure from other forms of literature, a pleasure not curtailed by a story’s relatively small size.