Lawrence Block, in The Liar’s Companion:
Faulkner said somewhere that every short story writer is a failed poet, and every novelist a failed short story writer. I think I know what he’s getting at–we use more words to do what we could not manage with fewer. I wonder if he’s right.
There are novelists who cannot write decent short stories. There are short story writers who are utterly at sea when they attempt a novel. There are some who seem equally at home with either length.
I suppose you could say that every poet is a failure, too, that the truly successful wordsmith would be one who could reduce his whole message to the world, his entire primal cry, to a single short word.
And there are days when I have a good idea what the word is.
Posted by Bridget McKenna