A Conversation from the Third Floor Essay

Mohamed El-Bisatie
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DeFrees is a published writer and an editor with a bachelor's degree in English from the University of Virginia and a law degree from the University of Texas. In the following essay, DeFrees discusses how short story writer El-Bisatie conveys the experience of Egyptian village life by focusing on external detail in favor of internal character development.

When encountering literature from another country, a reader may well expect to learn something more about a place and culture than he knew before: the food the people eat, the houses they live in, the customs they observe, the way they converse. In skilled hands, such details immerse the reader in a new world and provide the feeling of having traveled to a far-off place. Too many details, however, and the spell is broken—the story becomes a lecture, and the narrative sags under the weight of a travelogue...

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This section contains 1,606 words
(approx. 5 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the A Conversation from the Third Floor Study Guide
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