Brander Matthews (1852–1929). The Short-Story. 1907.By H. C. Bunner (1855–1896)
Notes to A Sisterly Scheme
|BUNNER was a humorist who happened also to be a poet. His humor may be fanciful; he may imagine an impossible situation; he may deal with circumstances of a daring unexpectedness, but he is never forced or violent or exaggerated. He had a command of pathos also, but he never paraded it, allowing it rather to relieve and to soften. He was a student of the art of story-telling, relishing the ingenuity and the succinctness of Boccaccio. He fell captive to the craftsmanship of Maupassant. The various tales in his volume called “Short Sixes,” published in 1890, of which the “Sisterly Scheme” is one, owe not a little to his interest in the consummate art of the Frenchman.
|This is an intensely American story,—American in its background and in its characters, American in its ingenuity and in its humor. It reveals Bunner’s mastery of surprise, for the end of the adventure is unexpected by the reader, and yet it is just what the reader ought to have expected, since it has been led up to carefully and cautiously.