I also believe my home state is cursed by ignorance and poverty and racism, much of it deliberately inculcated to control a vulnerable electorate. And I believe many of the politicians in Louisiana are among the most stomach-churning examples of white trash and venality I have ever known. To me, the fact that large numbers of people find them humorously picaresque is mind numbing, on a level with telling fond tales of one's rapist.
James Lee Burke
The novella is at once the most elegant and demanding form: a writer must balance the looseness of a novel with the concision of a short story, a feat that only the bravest and most talented of us can manage. In Brazil, Jesse Lee Kercheval proves, yet again, that she is exactly the right writer for the job. A wild American picaresque, Brazil snaps along briskly, yet feels full-fleshed, and brims with a sly wit and grace.
another comber of far pleasure followed the first, for his books came suddenly before his eyes, row upon row of volumes, row upon priceless row of calf-bound Thought, of philosophy and fiction, of travel and fantasy; the stern and the ornate, the moods of gold or green, of sepia, rose, or black; the picaresque, the arabesque, the scientific - the essays, the poetry and the drama. All this, he felt, he would now re-enter. He could inhabit the world of words, with, at the back of his melancholy, a solace he had not known before.
A garden path, ' write the landscape architects Charles W. Moore, William J. Mitchell, and William Turnbull, 'can become the thread of a plot, connecting moments and incidents into a narrative. The narrative structure might be a simple chain of events with a beginning, middle, and end. It might be embellished with diversions, digressions, and picaresque twists, be accompanied by parallel ways (subplots), or deceptively fork into blind alleys like the althernative scenerios explored in a detective novel.