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Word Count: 1,229
At the opening of Samuel L Clemens The Notorious Jumping Frog of Calaveras County also called The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County the notorious probably developed as familiarity with the storys content grew and people realized how little the narrator was actually inclined to celebrate the story the reader finds a first-person narrator who is comically cynical a lovable curmudgeon who essentially tells the reader that what follows is useless information and a waste of his time repeating it Immediately he starts to throw out names and characteristics of characters not yet introduced and the reader will feel as though theyve been dropped into the deep end of the pool Theres a lot of logic to that since early versions of the story were printed in the form of a letter and therefore it could be assumed safely that whoever the recipient of the letter was might be in on something that we as readers are not Both the letter format and the setting--the American Southwest--were popular at the time The prime example up to that point of the letter-writing style of story called epistolary was Bram Stokers Dracula Its a form thats not used much anymore but one of the things I found out when I was doing some research on the Internet is that it was the style used for Alice Walkers The Color Purple in the 1980s The story is really an update of an existing American tall tale about a grasshopper and so its possible that this was one of Twains most commercial moves specifically building a story that he knew would be well-received to anchor his collection of short stories When he would travel around the country this was a story that he passed on orally a lot and eventually named his short story collection after it because it had garnered so much attention and interest Either way theres a sparsity of words thats worth noting here the character
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