This essay presents the literary context to the short story "Greasy Lake." Set on a June night and early morning, the opening words, "There was a time," imply a fairy tale-like timelessness for the action. The story is narrated in the first person by an unnamed man looking back to his days as a nineteen year old. The story is superficially simple, a direct, linear narrative of a single event in the narrator's life. It is deeply indebted to the initiation story. Every city or town has its own Greasy Lake and its disaffected youth enacting what they think are acts of defiance and rebellion against parents and authority. The youths in this story are clearly rebels without much cause and without much real need for rebellion.
The Introduction to Literary Context series provides introductory overviews of some of the world's best-known works of literature, including novels, short stories, novellas, and poems, placing them in historical, societal, scientific and religious context of their time to deepen understanding and encourage discussion.
T. Coraghessan Boyle's 'Greasy Lake' is a postmodern short story in its avoidance of revelation. Traditional short stories tended to include a moment of epiphany, in which a character realizes something about their relationship to the world. Postmodern stories offer no such realizations. Boyle's tale uses many of the devices found in the traditional stories, but his narrator never draws any conclusions or has any insights to life. As such, Boyle's tale is a parody of the traditional moment of realization.
An interview with the writer T. Coraghessan Boyle. Boyle discusses such issues as when he first started to write, his relationship with his father, whether his view of the world is as bleak as that of his characters, his novels The Tortilla Curtain and World's End, what he does when he is not writing, and some of his favorite contemporary authors.
Begin your research with an initial search in Primo, and then explore subject-specific databases for more targeted results.
Utilize Boolean search terms to enhance your search effectiveness: AND narrows results to those containing both search terms; OR expands results to include either search term (not necessarily both); and NOT eliminates results containing the specified term.
Commence with a general search, refining it to become more specific as needed. If you possess a basic understanding of your desired focus, search using a broad term and narrow it down based on available resources.
Examine the subject terms and keywords used in the articles you discover. If they appear relevant, consider incorporating them into your search terms. Should your results be too extensive, add supplementary search terms to refine your inquiry further.
To search for a specific phrase, enclose it in quotation marks. This ensures the search engine looks for the exact phrase, rather than each word individually. For instance, searching "To be or not to be" will yield that precise phrase, rather than individual words.
To locate a word or phrase within an article PDF, e-book, or webpage, use the CTRL and F keys to open a search box that scans the text within a document. Remember to maintain a formal tone and employ an informative writing style in English throughout your research process.