A raven on a bust of Pallas. A giant cockroach. A gun on a wall. So many images from ‘classic’ short stories (of one literary tradition, anyway) loiter in the imagination. Visions which have escaped their original boundaries to become, well, iconic. Motifs. Craft short-hand for specific techniques or structures, or simply images so powerful they lodge in the mind’s eye long after the plot has resolved, the page turned, the book relegated to the dusty corner of the shelf.

A confession. With the classics, I don’t always get these shorthands, these shared symbols. Without the background of formal study of The Short Story, I still need time to explore the canon(s). But even in a few brief years of my writer-reader pootling around in the form, I realise I’ve already collected an array of images which linger: from those so-good-you-could-frame-it ‘shots’, to reframed realities, to just darn clever ways of writing the visual. So, for my anthology, I thought I’d let you see what I see…

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