The development of a short story – Grade 12

Read the following short story, Last Night, by James Salter here before looking at the questions to ponder: http://www.newyorker.com/archive/2002/11/18/021118fi_fiction?currentPage=all

or listen to it online here: http://www.newyorker.com/online/2009/01/12/090112on_audio_mcguane

When you are finished, think about what genre you believe this story may fall into: horror, tragedy, black comedy…

Think about how Salter doled out tiny pieces until the final, shocking revelation. Did it make you uncomfortable as you read? Why? When you read the end, did your perception of the entire episode being recounted change?

While this seems to be a simply written story, it so filled with images that you can see the events unfold and the environments in which everything occurs. Think about why this is so.

Also, did you notice that the story began in the centre of the action? It is not really until you have read several paragraphs that you know what is to come (or think you know). Did you like how Salter threw you into the middle and left you to flounder on your own?

Finally, here is an interesting article on parataxis vs. hypotaxis. Perhaps you can identify one or both in the previous story or in your own writing.

http://sinandsyntax.com/talking-shop/constance-hale-on-the-search-for-rhythm/

 

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ACAG English

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit. Aristotle

L'enfant Térrible

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit. Aristotle

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We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit. Aristotle

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We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit. Aristotle

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit. Aristotle

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