CRITICAL PERSPECTIVE In Notes on the American Short Story Today, Richard Kostelanetz discusses the epiphany , one of Joyce's most significant contributions to literature: In Joyce's pervasively influential theory of the short story we remember, the fiction turned upon an epiphany, a moment of revelation in which, in [critic] Harry Levin's words, “amid the most encumbered circumstances it suddenly happens that the veil is lifted, the … mystery laid bare, and the ultimate secret of things made manifest.” The epiphany, then, became a technique for jelling the narrative and locking the story's import into place …. What made this method revolutionary was the shifting of the focal point of the story from its end … to a spot within the body of the text, usually near (but not at) the end.

Where in “Arabi” does the story's epiphany occur? Does it do all that Kostelanetz believes an epiphany should do? Do you think that-at least in the case of “Arabi”-the epiphany may not be as significant a force as Kostelanetz suggests?

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