Introduction

NO ONE WAY WORKS, it will take all of us
shoving at the thing from all sides
to bring it down.
– Diane di Prima
This selection churns together exposure, influence, and recommendation. As everybody since Harold Bloom knows, influence can be a mutually antagonistic bond – some of this work it is formative only in a negative sense. Growing up, I was exposed mostly to a local breed dubbed the Irish Short Story, which I found, and still find, to be treated with undue reverence. MY selection sets up a few constructive adjacencies, from afrofuturism to ‘Irish short story,’ from comedy to contemporary ruination, to name two. At least one of these texts would not self-identify as a short story, but the term is only useful insofar as it is vague. I would like to have more than twelve slots to fill – I would have added some Rosie Šnajdr, Ba Jin, and Amiri Baraka. I hope you find the below a heady mix.

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