The Art of Subtext: Beyond Plot
  • The Art of Subtext: Beyond Plot
  • The Art of Subtext: Beyond Plot

The Art of Subtext: Beyond Plot

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by Charles Baxter
     
 

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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

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Overview

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.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“Baxter is smart about all aspects of craft.” —The Corresponder

“A wonderful new volume about writing that's also about reading and the ways we make meaning in our lives.” —The Observer

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781555974732
Publisher:
Graywolf Press
Publication date:
07/24/2007
Series:
Art of... Series
Pages:
120
Sales rank:
176,866
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 7.04(h) x 0.61(d)

Meet the Author

CHARLES BAXTER is the author of ten books, including The Feast of Love, a finalist for the National Book Award, and Burning Down the House: Essays on Fiction. He teaches at the University of Minnesota and lives in Minneapolis.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Date of Birth:
May 13, 1947
Place of Birth:
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Education:
B. A., Macalester College, 1969; Ph.D., State University of New York at Buffalo, 1974
Website:
http://www.charlesbaxter.com

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The Art of Subtext: Beyond Plot 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
samcivy More than 1 year ago
The Art of SUBTEXT Beyond Plot Charles Baxter ©2001 Graywolf Press, Minneapolis, MN 55401 ISBN 978-1-55597-473-2 175 pp. (ppbk.) Charles Baxter introduces his book as the way to ‘examine those elements that propel readers beyond the plot of a novel or short story into the realm of what haunts the imagination: the implied, the half-visible, the unspoken.” He says writers must know how to use a huge amount of details to accomplish these aims, details that imply as much as they show. This sounds like an important method for memorable writing. However, this book may need several readings to be clearly understood and applied. The key to subtext involves multiple details and metaphors that suggest several meanings in a scene, dialogue or incident. The placement of characters in a scene (staging) and creating “unheard melodies” are two concepts explained. The author also discusses ways to write scenes, gestures, speech and ‘slippage’ of speech as the ways to apply subtext. The book probably applies more to literary writing than to that with mass market appeal