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  • Published: Saint Paul, Minn. : [London : Graywolf Press ; Turnaround, distributor], 2007.
  • Year Published: 2007
  • Description: 179 p. : ill. ; 18 cm.
  • Language: English
  • Format: Book

ISBN/Standard Number

  • 9781555974732 (pbk.)
  • 1555974732 (pbk.)



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The art of subtext : beyond plot

by Baxter, Charles, 1947-

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Where To Find It

Call number: 809.3 Ba

Community Reviews

More About Reading Than Writing

Baxter discusses how writers set a scene–where objects and people are in relation to others. For example, a man towering over a woman implies one thing, crouching at her feet implies another. He also discusses a character’s wants versus his true needs, the tone people use when speaking to (or ignoring) each other, and how the description of faces affects our perception of characters. There were a few good ideas sprinkled here and there, but most of them were rather obvious and most were handled better in other how-to books.

Different books are meant for different purposes, and perhaps THE ART OF SUBTEXT was never meant to be more than a piece of literary analysis. (With a fair amount of “get off my lawn” sniping at the modern world for good measure.) I don’t want to criticize a fish for not knowing how to climb a tree, but I couldn’t help but be disappointed in this book. Baxter is, after all, a college professor, so I expected a bit of actual instruction along with all the theory.

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