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Short Story Quiz

Did this today at the end of the first term of teaching this class.

Dumping text here, cos, you know, why not.

Short Story, 13 December 2010. First semester revision.

A literary revue, in three stages.

Stage 1: short story theory/critical methods.
a) Name all seven of Propp’s character roles.
b) ‘The short story is defined by being short’ — list as many ways as you can think of that the concept of ‘short’ can define the medium.
c) If you were going to look how an author made the concept of identity unstable in a short story, what literary techniques could you look at?
d) “Chekhov is the master of the realistic short story” — true or false?
e) Who coined the term “unity of effect” to describe the ideal short story?
f) You need to write an open-ended story. Which of Labov and Walesky’s structural functions do you leave out?
g) Which writer invented the short story?

Stage 2: Goldsmiths knowledge.
a) What are the opening hours of the library?
b) Who is my favourite writer?
c) Here are the components of a correct MHRA footnote reference:

(1) Boston, MA
(2) p.431
(3) John Hall
(4) Prentice Hall
(5) The Anatomy of Harry Potter

Put them into the right order, noting the sequence of numbers. Bonus point if you can add the correct punctuation. Bonus point if you spot the deliberate mistake, too…
d) Which departmental secretary should you contact in case of absence?
e) List as many essay presentation conventions as you can – a point for each correct one! Your starter: staple your essays.
f) Which three texts do you need to buy for next year?

Stage 3: practical practice, for your independent project.
Using the protagonists from the stories you have read this year, write a short short story about Christmas. The plot is up to you — think of adapting some festive classics if you want to…A Christmas Carol, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Home Alone, the Nativity, It’s a Wonderful Life….introduce some new characters if you want but try and use as many as you can from the roster below. Come up with a lack that the story addresses, and try and fit your characters into Propp’s roles, provided in Stage 1.

Kafka: The doorkeeper, the man.
Boccaccio: Federigo degli Alberighi, Monna Giovanna; Alibech, Rustico; King Agilulf, groom.
Perrault: Cinderella, stepsisters, Fairy Godmother, prince; Puss in Boots, ogre; Sleeping Beauty, prince (II), aged fairy, young fairy, Ogre Queen; Riquet, Ugly-Smart Princess, Pretty-Dumb Princess.
Collins: Madelene, Corinne.
Poujol-Oriol: N’Gaou.
Poe: Dupin, friend, Ourang-Outan.
Doyle: Sherlock Holmes, Watson, any of the villains.
Defoe: Mrs Veal, Mrs Bargrave.
Gogol: Ivan Yakovlevich, Major Kovalyov, The Nose.
Chekhov: Gurov, Anna.
Peretz: Bontshe Shvayg; Rabbi Nemerov; Litvak.
Singer: Three Encounters Narrator, Rivkele.

You get a point from me if you use all of the characters. The winning story will be voted for by the whole class.


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