Short Fiction in Theory & Practice vol:3 issue:2 pages:235-246
This article considers the work of the Guatemalan author Augusto Monterroso as it offers an interesting perspective on the theory and practice of the short story collection. In his essays, Monterroso often comments on the formal features of the short story, its relation to the novel and its marginal status in literary criticism. In addition, he frequently refers to the work of other short story writers. About his own books, Monterroso has said that they are ‘simple deposits’ or ‘boxes’, because they include different kinds of texts: short stories and essays, but also translations of the work of other authors. Examples in case are the collections 'Movimiento Perpetuo' (1972), translated as 'Perpetual Motion' (1995), and 'La palabra mágica' (1983). In this article I analyse 'Perpetual Motion' with a view to determining the precise organization and structure of the collection. Using the concepts of homogeneity and heterogeneity, proposed by theorists such as René Audet and Robert Luscher, I try to discern a pattern in the disparate texts and issues of 'Perpetual Motion'.