Here is another text in a series of posts on how to read like a writer. This time it’s a work of fiction, Elizabeth Tallent’s very short story “No One’s A Mystery.” You should read the annotations in conjunction with my essay on short story structure in Attack of the Copula Spiders, also Gwen Mullins’ essay on plot structure published here on Numéro Cinq. For more on the contemporary use of classical rhetorical devices see my essay on Mark Anthony Jarman in Attack of the Copula Spiders. Repetition and parallel construction are dealt with helpfully in Viktor Shklovsky’s essay “Plot Construction and Style” in his book Theory of Prose.
This is the second annotated text I’ve published here. I am including them in the NC collection we call The Numéro Cinq Book of Literary Craft & Technique.
Annoyingly enough, I find that this pdf doesn’t “play” on all pdf viewers. It was written on an elegant pdf viewer called PDF-XChange Viewer which is free and can be downloaded here: http://pdf-xchange-viewer.en.softonic.com/ If you have trouble seeing the comments, and have the patience, please download and install the viewer.
Tallent – No One’s A Mystery w comments