The Slump Essay

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Kelly is an instructor of creative writing and literature at several Illinois colleges. In this essay, Kelly considers how readers are to approach an elusive story that seems to intentionally hide its meaning and purpose.

"The Slump" from John Updike's 1972collection Museums and Women, and Other Stories provides readers with a challenge. It is not clear what this piece of writing is supposed to be, only what it is not. It is not an essay or a poem and is probably not really a short story either, though that comes the closest to identifying it. In the book, it is tagged as a "mode." Since a mode is an undefined literary genre, though, identifying it as such does not help much. This is a piece that lacks character development, plot, setting, and any other element that usually builds a short story, indicating that it does not need...

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This section contains 1,588 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Slump Study Guide
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The Slump from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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