Thanks to all who participated. The answer is Edgar Allen Poe, who “invented” the short-story in the late 19th century. There were stories that were short before then, but he saw into the heart and soul of the short-story and was able to explain it to others. Since then, it has become one of the most powerful and dramatic forms of writing available.
One of these days I hope to develop a workshop on how to write a short story (and therefore how to read one). Interested?