We here at Limping Devil Press are entering our fourth week of blogging. This marking of time makes us feel celebratory. It has been fun so far, and we appreciate the support you have shown by reading our blog, liking our posts and offering your comments as well as writing. We love your participation. Thank you for riding along with us.
As with any new venture, changes do present themselves. We have decided to hit the pause button on flash fiction posts on Fridays. Today’s post will be the last, for a little while, of course, to allow space for conversations around other writing styles.
Since Limping Devil Press loves flash fiction, we thought we would close out the first four weeks on the subject with a roundup of some of our flash fiction heroes. As we continue to read them, we hope to return to Friday’s with a bushel of inspiration and prompts to share with you. For now, let us savor two pioneers of literary brevity.
Thomas Bernhard’s The Voice Imitator takes flash fiction to another level. Each micro fiction story explores the underbelly of human nature. Issues that flash before our eyes on the news, Bernhard writes about. Characters are afflicted with madness. Supporting characters attempt to mitigate violence. Each piece fits the parameters of flash fiction, but where Bernhard is short on words he is generous in psychological disturbances. Indeed, no easy task to complete in the space of half a page. Bernhard is unsung in the area of flash fiction, but for Limping Devil Press, he is a pure inspiration.
Bernhard shows readers and writers the possible interiors flash fiction will allow one to create. In Invisible Cities, Italo Calvino connects one piece of flash fiction to another. Each page is part of the whole story yet each piece could potentially stand on its own. Calvino writes fiction as though it were poetry. At times one is not sure if they have just read a poem or a story. The author utilizes a form that allows for ambiguity. Calvino contains the beauty and inversions of poetry as he bends the definition of fiction, and flash fiction.
Bernhard and Calvino illuminate many of flash fiction’s strengths. Both authors exemplify the possibilities of this, sometimes strange, style. Flash fiction is an innovative restraint for prose: it pushes a writer and demands innovation of him or her.
We could not think of two better authors to share with you as we transition from Flash Fiction Friday to short story. Next Friday, it will all be about short story. Limping Devil Press has been entertaining this idea for a few weeks, so we cannot wait to begin posting some of our favorite authors, writing prompts, and dialogues around the topic.
What are some of your favorite short stories? Who wrote them?