Wednesday, July 29, 2015

to flash or not to flash

I have a short piece up at Matchbook called Buchenwald. Such things are often called flash, or flash fiction, or micro-fiction. I don't like the word flash. It reminds me of 'flash in the pan,' or Flash Gordon, or a flasher. And mine's a story, though not a fictional one. I wish there were another label for it. Matchbook's subhead is "stories quite short," which I can live with.

New Pages says of Buchenwald, "If you were thinking the story would be light subject matter, YOU THOUGHT WRONG. It's super short, intense, sad, and somehow humorous."

I can live with that, too. Germany isn't much of a tourist destination, but there are some places and things worth seeing. And a concentration camp really is worth anyone's time, depressing and horrid as it may be.


Kass said...

Buchenwald captures perfectly the detachment we assume when considering atrocities.

toniclark said...

There are lots of other names besides flash: microfiction, nanofiction, nanotale, postcard fiction, short-short, sudden fiction, quicktion, skinny fiction, blasters, skippers, and snappers. I've also heard sto (because they’re very short stories) and poe (because they’re like very short prose poems). Most of thee presuppose fiction, which as you point out, “Buchenwald” is not. I like “micro,” but when I studied them (in a class, that is), they were always called short-shorts, and I still tend to use that term most of the time.

I really like "Buchenwald"! What Kass said. And it captures so much in so few words.

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