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How to Tell a Story and other Essays, 1899

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Author: Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)
Published: 1899
Language: English
Wordcount: 7,631 / 28 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 66.6
LoC Category: PS
Downloads: 4,923
mnybks.net#: 7051
Genre: Essays
Excerpt

from face to face, collecting applause, and then repeat it again. It is a pathetic thing to see.

Very often, of course, the rambling and disjointed humorous story finishes with a nub, point, snapper, or whatever you like to call it. Then the listener must be alert, for in many cases the teller will divert attention from that nub by dropping it in a carefully casual and indifferent way, with the pretence that he does not know it is a nub.

Artemus Ward used that trick a good deal; then when the belated audience presently caught the joke he would look up with innocent surprise, as if wondering what they had found to laugh at. Dan Setchell used it before him, Nye and Riley and others use it to-day.

But the teller of the comic story does not slur the nub; he shouts it at you--every time. And when he prints it, in England, France, Germany, and Italy, he italicizes it, puts some whooping exclamation-points after it, and sometimes explains it in a parenthesis. All of which is very depressing, and makes

Reader Reviews

Average Rating of 4 from 1 reviews: ****
2012.09.23
Sardo Weems
****.

This is not an essay on how to write a story, but more of an appreciation of the art of humorous bulls**tting, with a couple of examples.

A good use of twenty minutes or so.


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