In the U.K., they're celebrating "National Short Story Week". I wish we'd adopt the holiday across the pond.
One blogger posted: "It's a week to celebrate short attention spans!" (I've happily lost the link...sorry.)
Loving short stories has nothing to do with a short attention span. I'm sick of hearing it.
Here's what short stories can do (which you rarely find in "successful" longer fiction): they can push boundaries, take chances, and experiment. Each word becomes more important, every sentence a movement in the symphony, each paragraph a fist to the jaw. Yes, there are novels which do as much, but they seldom sell well. Novels are the commercial medium. That's their anchor, their curse.
It is my contention (based on several years of experience as a writer and reader) professional short fiction markets seek stories with grit, voice, and originality while the best selling novels are formulaic, trite, and easy on the brain.
Maybe it's the novels which cater to short attention spans...or, at least, simple minds?
Disagree? I'm glad you do. Let's hear it.
Edited to add: Read the wonderful "Principles of a Story" by Raymond Carver, one of my short story heroes.