Hal Porter’s Comic Mode


Hal Porter's early short stories may be seen as constant experiments designed to solve the problems associated with maintaining effective distance from his material and with manipulating the reader's response. That his solutions were not always completely successful is shown by the tendency of many of these stories either to break into interesting fragments, or to seem overwritten. Porter's reluctance to abandon the formal anecdote as the basic structure for a story and his penchant for epigrammatic intrusion oversimplified the subtleties his complex and concentrated style suggested, so that reviewers of Porter's first collection were divided as to whether the stories were marred more by stylistic excesses or manipulation of plot.

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Published 1 October 1970 in Volume 4 No. 4. Subjects: Literary techniques, structures & modes, Narrative techniques, Satire, Short story writing, Use of language, Wit & humour, Hal Porter.

Cite as: Lord, Mary. ‘Hal Porter’s Comic Mode.’ Australian Literary Studies, vol. 4, no. 4, 1970, doi: 10.20314/als.928cc7adbf.