A dozen and a half or so short stories written over a twenty-odd-year span clearly is not likely to project a writer into the company of Chekhov and his peers as a self-determining master of the form. Joyce immediately comes to mind as one who wrote no more than that but only as the self-limiting exception that proves the rule. Yet in saying this of Kingsley Amis one is not making a judgement about the quality or value of the stories produced so much as suggesting the quantitative norms for a canon to achieve stature within a particular literary form. Amis himself spoke trenchantly (he rarely spoke otherwise) of both his regret at not having written more stories (‘because I should be that much richer’) and of the reason for it (‘short story ideas or starting-points come to me rarely’).
KeywordsEurope Assure Expense Manure Hunt
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