Since I am currently teaching a course on microfiction, that weird mutating gene/genre that swerves and sways between the prose poem and the short story, I thought I would post a translation of some points made by Andrés Neuman a few years ago in his excellent blog Microrreplicas.
The points are succinct and aphoristic. I have opted for a fairly literal translation, but not, I hope, too literal . . .
- Brief is not the same as short: brevity shuts up on time, shortness ahead of time.
- The mission of every microfiction is to grow without being seen.
- The most striking thing about the microfiction is not its tiny size but its radical structure.
- Punctuate with a scalpel.
- A microfiction begins in quotation marks and ends with ellipsis.
- Verbs fly, nouns run, adjectives weigh down.
- The temptation of the joke is the termite of microfiction.
- Characters in a microfiction pass by in profile.
- The microfiction needs brave readers, which is to say those who can put up with incompleteness.
- The briefer it seems, the more slowly it is read.
Perhaps a few of these points merit elaboration or illustration, but I think I’d prefer to let them settle in their new language for a few days . . .