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» » Not too short, Nor too long : The art of the novella

Not too short, Nor too long : The art of the novella

Post by: Snehith Kumbla

 

If there is the novel and its contrary variant the short story, there is something in between called the novella. Longer than a short story, shorter than a novel, the word ‘novella’ has its origins in Italian, where the word means ‘new.’ The novella is usually not dissected into chapters or parts; it may have paragraphing though to indicate a change of location or scenario. The characters are well-defined and usually less in number, as the novella’s length doesn’t allow for a multi-character epic cast. Instead you will usually see interplay of two characters.

 

Ernest Hemingway’s The Old man and the Sea is one of the best examples of an epic tussle between man and nature. Somerset Maugham’s adventurous, engaging Up at the Villa is a masterful depiction of the turmoil in the lives of three main protagonists – a beautiful woman, a poor violinist and a good-hearted flirt. It is a novella that just can’t be put down, as the twists and turns in the drama keeps us hooked – right to the end.

 

These are just dual examples of what is a unique genre in itself and considering the short attention span times we live in, the novella is bound to be reinvented.       

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