A Small, Good Thing Historical Context

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Carver's work is in the tradition of realism. When he began to publish his short stories in the 1970s, the dominant mode of literary fiction was not realism but what was sometimes called metafiction, a complex, experimental form that was as much about writing itself as about telling a story. This kind of postmodernist writing was practiced by writers such as Robert Coover, Thomas Pynchon, and Kurt Vonnegut.

Carver was not attracted to this form, and he returned to the earlier literary tradition of realism, in which the writer is more interested in presenting mundane, everyday life as it is experienced by the ordinary person. However, Carver's realism was markedly different from its nineteenth-century form, in which the elements of fiction such as character and setting were described at length and in great detail.

In contrast, Carver's work is associated with the literary movement known as minimalism...

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This section contains 560 words
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