June 14, 2021
The short story is commonly – and very productively – treated in the spirit of critical terms such as marginality and liminality. Quite surprisingly, though, New Weird Fiction, which postulates similar interests in, e.g., formal and aesthetic innovation as well as literary ambition, is primarily associated with the novel. The underlying lack of interest in the New Weird Short Story in both popular culture and academic work is scrutinised in this article. In a first step, it will survey the short story as a liminal form, both formally and aesthetically, and contextualize it by drawing upon the state of the literary market in the twenty-first century. The contribution’s main argument is that the short story has always either been considered to be too ‘popular’ or too ‘literary’ in order to contest the novel as the prevalent literary form. Step two will perform a similar move regarding Weird Fiction, thus highlighting the parallels between the short and the Weird, and the need for more academic attention dedicated to the New Weird short story.