Oct 092012

Here is my reading copy of Alice Munro’s short story “Meneseteung” with my original handwritten notes plus some additional annotations on the pdf itself. This is the copy I used to write my essay “The Mind of Alice Munro” which you can also find in Attack of the Copula Spiders. The two texts, my essay and this marked up version of her story, have a somewhat friendly relationship. And it might be helpful for people wanting to learn to read for shape and technique, or to learn how better to appreciate Munro’s genius, to see how the raw data of the story notes evolved into the essay. (Interesting also to note that Munro published at least one version of this story with a different ending.)


Alice Munro — “Meneseteung” annotated

  6 Responses to “Alice Munro’s “Meneseteung” — How to Read It (with Diagrams)”

  1. Thank you!!! This is awesome. It’s usually not easy getting notes like this. Should make for interesting study.

  2. Fantastic to have this, Doug. I would love to see how you present it to a class … the idea of using a pdf is new to me too. A cool way to illustrate to the students your thinking overlaid on the text.

    • Thank you, Sharon. Again, lovely to see you here. The use of the pdf grew out of this site to begin with. I suddenly had a place to store and disseminate reading methods. And, of course, I mark up texts all the time as I read. It’s part of my process. The only one of these I’ve actually used in a lecture is the Elizabeth Tallent story which is quite short. I also give students a reading rubric that helps align their thoughts approaching a text.


  3. Thank you for telling us a bit more about this process, Doug. It’s really wonderful to have these stories with the traces of your reading on them in such detail–for me they are welcome lessons on how to read and how to appreciate the work. I’m rather relieved to hear that you don’t use these pdf’s in class … a lot of work to create them, and I was thinking I’m just too lazy (and old fashioned) to do this for every story, but it’s a very cool way to give students an example of ‘the writer reading’.

  4. Fantastic. And she deserves the Novel Prize.

  5. Brilliant stuff by a savvy, brilliant prose man about a genuine master, my favorite author on earth, AM. Thanks, Doug.

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