This book is a study of the short story, one of the widest taught genres in English literature, from an innovative methodological perspective. Both liminality and the short story are well-researched phenomena, but the combination of both is not frequent. This book discusses the relevance of the concept of liminality for the short story genre and for short story cycles, emphasizing theoretical perspectives, methodological relevance and applicability.

Liminality as a concept of demarcation and mediation between different processual stages, spatial complexes, and inner states is of obvious importance in an age of global mobility, digital networking, and interethnic transnationality. Over the last decade, many symposia, exhibitions, art, and publications have been produced which thematize liminality, covering a wide range of disciplines including literary, geographical, psychological and ethnicity studies.

Liminal structuring is an essential aspect of the aesthetic composition of short stories and the cultural messages they convey. On account of its very brevity and episodic structure, the generic liminality of the short story privileges the depiction of transitional situations and fleeting moments of crisis or decision. It also addresses the moral transgressions, heterotopic orders, and forms of ambivalent self-reflection negotiated within the short story's confines. This innovative collection focuses on both the liminality of the short story and on liminality in the short story.

part |31 pages

Liminality and the Short Story

chapter |29 pages

“Betwixt and Between”

Boundary Crossings in American, Canadian, and British Short Fiction

part |124 pages

The Liminality of the Short Story

part |42 pages

Conceptualizations of Liminality

chapter |15 pages

Modes of Liminality in American Short Fiction

Condensations of Multiple Identities

chapter |13 pages

Liminal and Liminoid Discourses in Modernist Women's Short Fiction

Performance, Spectatorship, and Cinema

chapter |12 pages

In the Generic Interzone

On the Liminal Character of William S. Burroughs's Routines

part |43 pages

Methods of Approach

chapter |15 pages

Cognitive Liminality

On the Epistemology of the Short Story

chapter |16 pages

Experiencing Short Stories

A Cognitive Approach Focusing on Reading Narrative Space

chapter |10 pages

Between Story and Essay

Micro-Markers of Storyness

part |38 pages

Conditions of Publication

chapter |13 pages

“Small Tales”

Brevity and Liminality in Early American Magazines

chapter |11 pages

The Liminal Spaces of Nathaniel Hawthorne's Short-Story Cycles

Rites of Passage in History and Storytelling

chapter |12 pages

Variety in Unity, Unity in Variety

The Liminal Space of the American Short-Story Anthology

part |117 pages

Liminality in the Short Story

part |53 pages

Contexts of Writing

chapter |11 pages

Madness as a Liminal State in the American Short Story

Edgar Allan Poe's Ratiocination and Charles Sanders Peirce's Logic of Abduction

chapter |12 pages

Of Death, Dying, and Disease

The Short Story and American Heterotopian Illness Narratives

chapter |12 pages

How Significant Food Can Make a Short Story into a Meal

The Hyphenated Immigrant Experience in Contemporary American Short Fiction

part |63 pages

Topics of Liminality

chapter |12 pages

Liminal Subjects, Mixed Genre

Richard Wright and the African American Short Story

chapter |13 pages

"I Am Not That"

Liminality in the Writings of Joanna Russ

chapter |13 pages

“Almost Like a Ghost”

Spectral Figures in Alice Munro's Short Fiction

chapter |11 pages

Indigenous Interstitial Spaces

Liminality in Thomas King's "Borders"