The Art of Subtext

The Art of Subtext

Beyond Plot

Book - 2007
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Charles Baxter inaugurates The Art of , a new series on the craft of writing, with the wit and intelligence he brought to his celebrated book Burning Down the House: Essays on Fiction .

Fiction writer and essayist Charles Baxter's The Art of Subtext: Beyond Plot discusses and illustrates the hidden subtextual overtones and undertones in fictional works haunted by the unspoken, the suppressed, and the secreted. Using an array of examples from Melville and Dostoyevsky to contemporary writers Paula Fox, Edward P. Jones, and Lorrie Moore, Baxter explains how fiction writers create those visible and invisible details, how what is displayed evokes what is not displayed.

The Art of Subtext is part of The Art of series, a new line of books by important authors on the craft of writing, edited by Charles Baxter. Each book examines a singular, but often assumed or neglected, issue facing the contemporary writer of fiction, nonfiction, or poetry. The Art of series means to restore the art of criticism while illuminating the art of writing.

Publisher: Saint Paul, Minn. : Graywolf Press, [2007]
Copyright Date: ©2007
ISBN: 9781555974732
Branch Call Number: 809.3 BAX
Characteristics: 179 pages :,illustrations ;,18 cm.


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theorbys Dec 19, 2012

Anecdotes and readings of short stories, novels, and author to illustrate the point that there is usually more going on than meets the eye in a good literary text. But it is hardly a very deep discussion of subtext.

Aug 18, 2011

Here it is, folks, an entire University-level English course in a short, stylish book. Charles Baxter leads us through all the ways in which characters say too little or say too much, obscure their intentions or trumpet them so loudly as to make them unpalatable and unbelievable. My only regret is that he didn't provide a fuller bibliography for some of the authors he analyzes. I'd love to read some of them now in light of his luminous expositions. This can be a quick read, or you can profitably return to it again and again.

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