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Appendix 3: Using Descriptive Detail

Paraphrased passage from Suttree (Overhead 1)

The homeless man was exhausted. He went into a restaurant and ordered coffee and a meal of corn muffins and steak. But when the food came, he found he was too tired to eat and that his meal was unappealing to him.

Original Passage from Suttree (Overhead 2)

The kitchen door swung out and she came bearing coffee. A thick rimmed cup of sepia crockery. Beads of grease veered on the dishing meniscus of inky fluid it held. He poured cream copiously from a tin pitcher and laced in sugar and stirred. The smell of it flooded his brain and when he sipped it seemed like an odd thing to drink. He sipped again. The waitress reared above the rim of the cup. He leaned back. A plate of corn muffins fell before him. A small oblong platter with thick flour gravy wherein lay a slab of waffled beef and the vegetables. Suttree could hardly lift his fork. He buttered one of the muffins and bit into it. His mouth was filled with a soft dry sawdust. He tried to chew. His jaws worked the mass slowly. He tried to spit it out and could not. He reached in his mouth and fished it forth with ths fingers in thick clogs of paste which he raked off on the side of the platter. He cut away a section of the steak with his fork and eased it past his teeth. His eyes closed. He could taste nothing. His throatpipe seemed grown shut.