Monday, January 31, 2011


Ijust read a book called And The Earth Did Not Devour Him by Tomas Rivera. It's a book representative of Chicano literature, and I read it for one of my classes this term. What really impressed me was that the entire novella is written in a series of vignettes--short, impressionistic scenes. Inititally, I felt that the narrative was somewhat  disjointed, because each of the scenes were distinctive, some of them unexpected, but the overall effect was great! All the scenes began to arrange themselves in a pattern, as I read on, and when I turned the last page of the book, I felt like I had just experienced the novella in a visial way. It was like gazing (through language) at an exquisite patchwork quilt, each patch a story that fit within the larger narrative.

Last week I wrote about strategic flaws or creative "messiness" and how it can work to an advantage in our prose and poetry. The style that Rivera uses in this novella is one way this "deconstructed" aspect of writing can work. I'm intriqued by the technique, and am currently on the lookout for more examples of the vignette in fiction!


  1. Thanks for sharing this. I have added it to my Amazon list.



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