Plot in Flash Fiction: A Study of Irony in the Flashes in Lydia Davis’ Varieties of Disturbance (2007)


Flash fiction, stories of extreme brevity, is a subgenre of short story writing in which special attention is paid to the choice of words, grammar and punctuation to actively involve the reader in the act of unravelling the multiple layers of meaning evoked. Upon reading a flash, “Readers move in time in such a way that it catapults them from beginning to end and back again” (Rohrberger 2004: 7). The brevity of the flash and the abrupt ending bring the reader full circle back to the title. Upon reflection on the title and the irony interwoven in the fabric of the flash, the latent meanings start to evolve constructing a plot as complex as that of longer narratives. Although critics claim that flash fiction lacks plot, the present paper proves through interpreting the flashes in Lydia Davis’ Varieties of Disturbance (2007) that flash fiction has plot and that irony is what gives rise to it.


Ahlam Ahmed Mohamed Othman


Flash fiction, irony, Lydia Davis, plot, Varieties of Disturbance