Short stories

Pages: 452 (112841 mots) Publié le: 9 janvier 2011
Best American Humorous Short Stories, by Various

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Best American Humorous Short Stories, by Various
Project Gutenberg's The Best American Humorous Short Stories, by Various This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook oronline at www.gutenberg.net Title: The Best American Humorous Short Stories Author: Various Release Date: February 5, 2004 [EBook #10947] Language: English Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1 *** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK AMERICAN HUMOR *** Produced by Keith M. Eckrich and PG Distributed Proofreaders THE BEST AMERICAN HUMOROUS SHORT STORIES

Best American Humorous Short Stories, byVarious

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Edited by ALEXANDER JESSUP, Editor of "Representative American Short Stories," "The Book of the Short Story," the "Little French Masterpieces" Series, etc. INTRODUCTION This volume does not aim to contain all "the best American humorous short stories"; there are many other stories equally as good, I suppose, in much the same vein, scattered through the range of American literature.I have tried to keep a certain unity of aim and impression in selecting these stories. In the first place I determined that the pieces of brief fiction which I included must first of all be not merely good stories, but good short stories. I put myself in the position of one who was about to select the best short stories in the whole range of American literature,[1] but who, just before he startedto do this, was notified that he must refrain from selecting any of the best American short stories that did not contain the element of humor to a marked degree. But I have kept in mind the wide boundaries of the term humor, and also the fact that the humorous standard should be kept second--although a close second--to the short story standard. In view of the necessary limitations as to thevolume's size, I could not hope to represent all periods of American literature adequately, nor was this necessary in order to give examples of the best that has been done in the short story in a humorous vein in American literature. Probably all types of the short story of humor are included here, at any rate. Not only copyright restrictions but in a measure my own opinion have combined to excludeanything by Joel Chandler Harris--Uncle Remus--from the collection. Harris is primarily--in his best work--a humorist, and only secondarily a short story writer. As a humorist he is of the first rank; as a writer of short stories his place is hardly so high. His humor is not mere funniness and diversion; he is a humorist in the fundamental and large sense, as are Cervantes, Rabelais, and Mark Twain.No book is duller than a book of jokes, for what is refreshing in small doses becomes nauseating when perused in large assignments. Humor in literature is at its best not when served merely by itself but when presented along with other ingredients of literary force in order to give a wide representation of life. Therefore "professional literary humorists," as they may be called, have not been muchconsidered in making up this collection. In the history of American humor there are three names which stand out more prominently than all others before Mark Twain, who, however, also belongs to a wider classification: "Josh Billings" (Henry Wheeler Shaw, 1815-1885), "Petroleum V. Nasby" (David Ross Locke, 1833-1888), and "Artemus Ward" (Charles Farrar Browne, 1834-1867). In the history ofAmerican humor these names rank high; in the field of American literature and the American short story they do not rank so high. I have found nothing of theirs that was first-class both as humor and as short story. Perhaps just below these three should be mentioned George Horatio Derby (1823-1861), author of Phoenixiana (1855) and the Squibob Papers (1859), who wrote under the name "John Phoenix." As...
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