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Lecture 3

Course Code
Sarah Caskey

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Jan. 24/11
Elizabeth Bowen (1936): Anglo-Irish writer
The Introduction to the Faler Book of Modern Short Stories landmark appraisal of the
short story
richness, complexity, multiplicity AS A RESULT OF RATHER THAN INSPITE OF
BREVITY: positive inflection of the shortness of the short story form
- answering to Edgar Allan Poes theory of the short story; short story is analogous to
limitation or restriction; she thought it important to see short story of a positive quality to
the shortness of the story
- the art of writing lay at which the author squeezed the machinery of the plot and
character to a framework of a few thousand words
- increasingly, what occurred to writers was that writing short fiction was to making more
artful and strategic economies; working with tactiful submissions
- making saying less but writing more?
- beginning with modernist experimentation to short story
- story achieves its richness and complexity as a result of its brevity
- sense of chronic uncertainty and openness; links it to the characters own feelings
- creative transaction between brevity and complexity
The Wedding Gift
- more than an anecdote about past behavior
- the individuals are shown to having to cope with cultural change and primitive conditions
(severe weather)
- Canadian weather and landscape acts as an antagonistic force
-expectation to feature man and their efforts to tame and civilize

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- recalls Lazybones
- Canadian writers reverse the stereotypes to come up with more creative and more
interesting narratives
- the story is built around a set of oppositions: Kezia Barnes and Mr. Mears
- the contrast built around their world and cosmopolitan backgrounds
- Barnes is a common last name and emphasizes her country
- Kezia is an orphan from a farming land in Nova Scotia
- Mr. Mears is a minister sent over by Mrs. Huntingtons connection
- developing pragmatism of the new world
- (opening paragraph; pg. 83):
connection with weather and landscape
the author sets up and emphasizes: snow; everything is satiated by the amount of snow,
everyone except for the one person, Kezia
Kezia has not had enough
notice how seemingly democratic the snow is
articulating Kezias feeling of insufficiency; isolating her and setting her apart from
everyone in the community
setting: Nova Scotia, 1794 very specific and clear
Raddall wanted his story to be deliberately Canadian
emphasis on external environment and the weather (snowstorm)
narrows our focus on Kezia in the introduction
idea that theres not enough snow veils Kezias larger frustration to be married off to
someone not of her choosing to a life that she does not desire
(pg. 84; bottom paragraph to end of the first paragraph on pg. 85):
sense of tone and perspective of the paragraph: very sarcastic tone; irony; seems as if she
has to be grateful; third-person narrator: closely aligned with Barclay’s view on things; but
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