In literary analysis the term "minimalism" refers not to a certain understated style of fiction writing, but also to an assembly of characteristics that are particularly ascribed to the short stories, for both the minimalism and the short story are governed by an aesthetic of exclusion. Minimalism is considered by many critics to be a major contributing factor to the current short stories renaissance. The term itself has never been defined yet.
Traditional theory on the short story, as found in Allan Edgar Poe s 1842 review of Hawthorne s first collection of stories, begins with the idea that two interviewed elements are essential to the success of short story—brevity of form and singleness of effect. According to Poe in order to achieve this desired length and effect no word should be added to story that is not part of the pre-established design.
Minimalist modern writers pushed the traditional elements described by Poe to extremes. Thus " less is more" is the most important feature in minimalism short story. Readers feel something more than they understood, therefore minimalists used word economy, simple language, straight-forward style and a "show, don t tell" approach. According to them, basic thoughts and feelings are extremely important and that using simple words allow them to better emulate real conversations.
The aim of this study is to formulate a definition of minimalism by studying the works of two modernistic American short stories writers Mary Robison and Frederick Bartheleme and to illustrate that in order for minimalist works to be successful, both extreme brevity and extreme singleness of effect must be presented.