Since Dr. Maynadier's retirement, the study of the short story has been allowed to lapse into comparative obscurity. Occasionally dragged forth from its corner by some composition course, it is held up in the burning light of study for a week or two and then allowed to sink back into the gloom to be forgotten. Like Prohibition, the study of the short story will soon be a thing of the past.
This cavalier and spasmodic treatment of so entertaining a type of prose is unworthy of the English department. The short story is far too important a step in the development of English and American literature to be neglected. It has not only gained a place in the world of fiction, but has held it successfully, despite the onslaughts of its brother forums, the novel and drama, and it can truly be said that the novel alone supersedes it in popularity today.
The English department has many capable younger men who would be willing to take over this task, and who, if given a half-course, would be of invaluable assistance to students intent on writing at some future date. With this demand in mind, the department should seriously consider devoting a half-year to the writing and another half-year to the studying of the short story.