Life's Little Ironies is a collection of tales written by Thomas Hardy, originally published in 1894, and republished with a slightly different collection of stories, for the Uniform Edition in 1927/8.
There is a Prefatory Note to the revised edition, written by the author, which says this of the above contents: “Of the following collection the first story, ‘An Imaginative Woman’, originally stood in Wessex Tales, but was brought into this volume as being more nearly its place, turning as it does upon a trick of Nature, so to speak, a physical possibility that may attach to a wife of vivid imaginings, as is well known to medical practitioners and other observers of such manifestations. The two stories named ‘A Tradition of Eighteen Hundred and Four’ and 'The Melancholy Hussar of the German Legion’, which were formerly printed in this series, were also transferred to Wessex Tales, where they more naturally belong. The above alterations were first made in the Uniform Edition in 1927. The present narratives and sketches, though separately published at various antecedent dates, were first collected and issued in a volume in 1894. T.H.”
A short story is a brief work of literature, usually written in narrative prose. Emerging from earlier oral storytelling traditions in the 17th century, the short story has grown to encompass a body of work so diverse as to defy easy characterization. At its most prototypical the short story features a small cast of named characters, and focuses on a self-contained incident with the intent of evoking a "single effect" or mood. In doing so, short stories make use of plot, resonance, and other dynamic components to a far greater degree than is typical of an anecdote, yet to a far lesser degree than a novel. While the short story is largely distinct from the novel, authors of both generally draw from a common pool of literary techniques.
Short stories have no set length. In terms of word count there is no official demarcation between an anecdote, a short story, and a novel. Rather, the form's parameters are given by the rhetorical and practical context in which a given story is produced and considered, so that what constitutes a short story may differ between genres, countries, eras, and commentators. Like the novel, the short story's predominant shape reflects the demands of the available markets for publication, and the evolution of the form seems closely tied to the evolution of the publishing industry and the submission guidelines of its constituent houses.
Entertainment is a form of activity that holds the attention and interest of an audience, or gives pleasure and delight. It can be an idea or a task, but is more likely to be one of the activities or events that have developed over thousands of years specifically for the purpose of keeping an audience's attention. Although people's attention is held by different things, because individuals have different preferences in entertainment, most forms are recognisable and familiar. Storytelling, music, drama, dance, and different kinds of performance exist in all cultures, were supported in royal courts, developed into sophisticated forms and over time became available to all citizens. The process has been accelerated in modern times by an entertainment industry which records and sells entertainment products. Entertainment evolves and can be adapted to suit any scale, ranging from an individual who chooses a private entertainment from a now enormous array of pre-recorded products; to a banquet adapted for two; to any size or type of party, with appropriate music and dance; to performances intended for thousands; and even for a global audience.
The experience of being entertained has come to be strongly associated with amusement, so that one common understanding of the idea is fun and laughter, although many entertainments have a serious purpose. This may be the case in the various forms of ceremony, celebration, religious festival, or satire for example. Hence, there is the possibility that what appears as entertainment may also be a means of achieving insight or intellectual growth.
"Amy Foster" is a short story by Joseph Conrad written in 1901, first published in the Illustrated London News (December 1901), and collected in Typhoon and Other Stories (1903).
A poor emigrant from Central Europe sailing from Hamburg to America is shipwrecked off the coast of England. The residents of nearby villages, at first unaware of the sinking, and hence of the possibility of survivors, regard him as a dangerous tramp and madman. He speaks no English; his strange foreign language frightens them, and they offer him no assistance.