在过去的几十年里，闪电小说，微型小说和其他超短短篇小说越来越受欢迎。 Nano Fiction和Flash Fiction Online等全部期刊都致力于flash小说和相关的写作形式，而Gulf Coast，Salt Publishing和Kenyon Review管理的竞赛则迎合了flash小说作者的需求。但是，虚构小说也有着漫长而可敬的历史。甚至在“闪电小说”一词在20世纪后期普遍使用之前，法国，美国和日本的主要作家都在尝试散文形式，特别强调简洁和简洁。在19世纪，波德莱尔开创了一种名为“散文诗”的新型短篇小说。散文诗是波德莱尔在短时间内描绘心理学和经验细微差别的方法。正如波德莱尔在其着名的散文诗集，巴黎脾脏（1869年）的介绍中所说的那样：“谁没有，在雄心壮志中，梦想这个奇迹，诗意的散文，音乐没有节奏或韵律，柔软和波涛汹涌到足以适应灵魂的抒情运动，遐想的波动，意识的颠簸和倾斜？“散文诗成为法国实验作家最喜欢的形式，如亚瑟兰波和弗朗西斯庞。但波德莱尔强调思想的转变和观察的曲折也为许多当今杂志中的“片段生活”闪光小说铺平了道路。海明威以英雄主义和冒险小说而闻名，例如“贝尔通行证”和“老人与大海”，以及他在超短篇小说中的激进实验。海明威最着名的作品之一是一个六字短篇小说：“出售：婴儿鞋，从未穿过。”海明威对这个微型故事的作者提出了质疑，但他确实创造了其他一些极短的作品。小说，例如他的短篇小说集“我们的时代”中出现的草图。海明威还提供了一个极其简洁的小说辩护：“如果一个散文作家足够了解他所写的内容，他可能会忽略他所知道的事情和读者，如果作者写得足够真实，那么他们就会感受到这些就像作家所说的那样强烈的事情。“作为一个沉浸在他的家乡日本的经济但富有表现力的艺术和文学的作家，川端康成有兴趣创造出表达和建议很好的小文本。川端康成的最大成就包括“手掌”故事，虚构剧集和最多持续两到三页的事件。主题方面，这些微型故事的范围非常广泛，涵盖了从错综复杂的浪漫（“Canaries”）到病态幻想（“Love Suicides”）到童年时期的冒险和逃亡（“树上的崛起”）。 Kawabata毫不犹豫地将他的“手掌”故事背后的原则应用于他的长篇文章。在他生命即将结束时，他精心制作了一部经过修改的缩短版本的着名小说“雪国”。巴塞尔姆是对当代闪电小说状态负有最大责任的美国作家之一。对于巴塞尔姆来说，小说是一种引发辩论和猜测的手段：“我相信我的每一句话都会因道德而颤抖，因为每一句话都试图引发问题，而不是提出一个所有合理的人必须同意的命题。”尽管这些标准是在20世纪末和21世纪初期，不确定，发人深省的短篇小说引导了短篇小说，巴塞尔姆的确切风格很难通过成功来模仿。在诸如“气球”这样的故事中，巴塞尔姆对奇怪的事件提出了冥想 – 而且对传统的情节，冲突和解决方式几乎没有。
Over the past few decades, flash fiction, micro-fiction, and other super-short short stories have grown in popularity. Entire journals such as Nano Fiction and Flash Fiction Online are devoted to flash fiction and related forms of writing, while contests administrated by Gulf Coast, Salt Publishing, and The Kenyon Review cater to flash fiction authors. But flash fiction also has a long and respectable history. Even before the term “flash fiction” came into common usage in the late 20th century, major writers in France, America, and Japan were experimenting with prose forms that put special emphasis on brevity and concision. In the 19th century, Baudelaire pioneered a new type of short-form writing called “prose poetry.” Prose poetry was Baudelaire’s method for capturing the nuances of psychology and experience in short bursts of description. As Baudelaire puts it in the introduction to his famous collection of prose poetry, Paris Spleen (1869): “Who has not, in bouts of ambition, dreamt this miracle, a poetic prose, musical without rhythm or rhyme, supple and choppy enough to accommodate the lyrical movement of the soul, the undulations of reverie, the bump and lurch of consciousness?” The prose poem became a favorite form of French experimental writers, such as Arthur Rimbaud and Francis Ponge. But Baudelaire’s emphasis on turns of thought and twists of observation also paved the way for the “slice of life” flash fiction that can be found in many present-day magazines. Hemingway is well-known for novels of heroism and adventure such as For Whom the Bell Tolls and The Old Man and the Sea—but also for his radical experiments in super-short fiction. One of the most famous works attributed to Hemingway is a six-word short story: “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.” Hemingway’s authorship of this miniature story has been called into question, but he did create several other works of extremely short fiction, such as the sketches that appear throughout his short story collection In Our Time. And Hemingway also offered a defense of radically concise fiction: “If a writer of prose knows enough about what he is writing about he may omit things that he knows and the reader, if the writer is writing truly enough, will have a feeling of those things as strongly as though the writer had stated them.” As an author steeped in the economical yet expressive art and literature of his native Japan, Kawabata was interested in creating small texts that are great in expression and suggestion. Among Kawabata’s greatest accomplishments are the “palm-of-the-hand” stories, fictional episodes and incidents that last two or three pages at most. Topic-wise, the range of these miniature stories is remarkable, covering everything from intricate romances (“Canaries”) to morbid fantasies (“Love Suicides”) to childhood visions of adventure and escape (“Up in the Tree”). And Kawabata didn’t hesitate to apply the principles behind his “palm-of-the-hand” stories to his longer writings. Near the end of his life, he crafted a revised and much-shortened version of one of his celebrated novels, Snow Country. Barthelme is one of the American writers most responsible for the state of contemporary flash fiction. For Barthelme, fiction was a means of igniting debate and speculation: “I believe that my every sentence trembles with morality in that each attempts to engage the problematic rather than to present a proposition to which all reasonable men must agree.” Although these standards for indeterminate, thought-provoking short fiction have guided short fiction in the late 20th and early 21st century, Barthelme’s exact style is difficult to imitate with success. In stories such as “The Balloon”, Barthelme offered meditations on strange events—and little in the way of traditional plot, conflict, and resolution.