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托福听力短文 II-03-1

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(WA-WW) Yesterday we talked about the anecdote. Today we're going to move on to one of the most popular literary forms in Western literature --- the short story.

A short story is a piece of prose fiction, usually under 10,000 words. Although it's similar to the anecdote, it's really a separate literary form. You'll remember that the anecdote's sole purpose is to entertain, and that it does this by relating a curious or interesting event. Well, there are also events in short stories, but the short story uses the event as something a character reacts to --- the reader's interest is captured by the effect that this event has on the character in the story. We're even likely to reread a short story to better understand the character who is being portrayed and why a certain event led to a certain response or action.

A short story, though, is not just a short novel. A novel is narrative --- it tells a detailed story that usually takes place over a long period of time. A short story is less comprehensive than a novel, and the focus is on a character's mental reaction to an experience --- this reaction is the heart of the short story.

Now I want you to think back to the short story you read for homework and I'll give you a list of questions to think about.

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