The Cask of Amontillado Historical Context

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The Short Story

Although there have been stories as long as there have been people to tell them, many critics trace the beginnings of the short story as a genre of written prose literature consciously developed as an art form to the nineteenth century. Previously in the West there had been great ages of epics memorized or extemporized orally, narrative poetry, drama, and the novel, but it was not until the early 1800s that critics began to describe the short story as a specific art form with its own rules and structures. In Europe, Honore de Balzac and others were already writing and theorizing about the new form. An early American voice in the discussion was Poe's. In 1842 he wrote a review of Nathaniel Hawthorne's Twice-Told Tales (1842), a collection of thirty-nine brief stories and sketches, many dealing with the supernatural. In his influential review, Poe delineated the differences...

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This section contains 659 words
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Short Stories for Students
The Cask of Amontillado from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.