The Scarlatti Tilt


In English class today, I was really bored and was browsing through the textbook pages when I found a short – and I repeat, short – story called The Scarlatti Tilt. We were going to move onto the Short Stories unit next week, anyway (we just finished the Article Writing) so I guess it’s not a bad thing to take a sneak peek. I can’t wait to write short stories! Yay!

So the story is very short, and I mean it. It’s really short that even book haters can read it in less than a minute. Here it is:

The Scarlatti Tilt

“It’s very hard to live in a studio apartment in San Jose with a man who’s learning to play the violin.” That’s what she told the police when she handed them the empty revolver.

The end.

Very short, right? The story only contains two sentences: a dialogue and another sentence. Even though the story is very short, it does have story elements such as characters, setting, plot, conflict and ending. Interesting, isn’t it? To have everything you want to know given out in just two sentences is just genius and beautiful! You can clearly see that the story is about a woman who lives in a studio apartment in San Jose with a neighbour, a man who’s learning to play the violin. It’s clear that she shot the man because she hates the sounds the violin makes and the police apprehended her, and the story was told during the time she’s faced with the police. We also know that the woman is, if not slightly, crazy. The choice of vocabulary here makes the story complete even though it’s stub – you know what I mean, right?

After doing some research on the internet, I found out that the author of this story is Richard Brautigan. Truthfully, I’ve never heard of him but judging from comments about him and bloggers’ reviews on his stories, he’s actually a famous and good author. His stories include genres like black comedy, parody and satire, and his best well-known novel was Trout Fishing in America published in 1967. I’ve never read any satire novels but I’ve read some black comedy so I might as well try to read some of his books.


Categories: Books, Journal, Short Stories, Uncategorized | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

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One thought on “The Scarlatti Tilt

  1. Melanie Turner

    I love this story. I use it to teach my students literary elements as well as the importance of inferring as we read and using context clues to decode unfamiliar words!

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