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The Art of Subtext: Beyond Plot (Art of...)…
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The Art of Subtext: Beyond Plot (Art of...)

by Charles Baxter

Series: The Art of

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A book about writing and literature that is itself literature. Baxter's books always have more insight and intelligence than the previous fifty books you have read combined. The Art of the Subtext is no exception. It deserves equal billing with the Art of Fiction and any other book on how to write great fiction. Baxter talks about books we have all read, yet is able to pinpoint why we have read them. ( )
  byebyelibrary | Mar 19, 2014 |
I got a lot out of this. It's a craft book for writers, specifically fiction, although I don't see why you couldn't use a lot of what he talks about in essay writing as well. It's not so much a how-to as a reminder of how to keep a certain dynamic, how to move plot along with all that lives below it -- very smart and useful, at least to me. Now I'm interested to see the rest of the series. ( )
  lisapeet | Mar 31, 2013 |
These essays explore how a writer creates connections between characters’ outward movements and inner lives, by paying close attention to gestures and speech, objects and actions. Baxter demonstrates how to show the differences between characters’ stated desires and their true feelings. He points out how what is unheard and unspoken in a scene can be more revealing than what is actually expressed. He also examines at length the “problem of the face” in a culture of mass reproduction, arguing that describing a face and its expressions at moments of dramatic intensity remains an important challenge for writers in a society that mistrusts the sincerity of appearances. ( )
  amyjmerrick | Feb 8, 2013 |
The Art of Staging, Digging the Subterranean, Unheard Melodies, Inflection & the Breath of Life, Creating a Scene, Loss of Face ( )
  Cortmm | Sep 27, 2012 |
Using common literary examples (short stories mostly), Baxter explores how subtext works in contemporary prose, why it's important, how it's changed historically in literature, and categorizes various methods and approaches to the art of subtext. ( )
  sungene | Jan 11, 2012 |
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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.… (more)

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