I want your favorite entertaining, well-written, overly detailed, funny, or insane notes/directions/etc. that are part of a creative work but are not meant to be noticeable in its final production. Like memorable bits of theatrical stage direction, musical notation, computer code notes, cookbook instructions, etc. The audience doesn't see them, just their results: be those results a stage play, an orchestra performance, a spreadsheet program, or a tasty cake.
- This post's title is from "The Winter's Tale" by Shakespeare and is the most famous scene direction ever. The bear eats the guy offstage.
- The poetry slam piece Kite
by Rives includes this performance direction:
(HERE I HOLD MY HAND UP LIKE A SOCK PUPPET
WITHOUT THE SOCK AND MY HAND TEASES ME
IN A HIGH, SMUTTY VOICE)
I'm NOT looking for--but wouldn't mind seeing--text back matter
meant to be seen/read, but is technically optional, like translator's notes or historical notes. I DON'T need notes that are part of the narrative, like Mark Z. Danielewski's appendices and Terry Pratchett's footnotes.
- I would read the excellent manga The Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service
anyway, but it's made more awesome by the increasingly cranky and wry translator's notes at the back.
- Pale Fire
by Vladimir Nabokov is a bad example, because it's a novel and its back matter is part of the narrative. But a major point/joke/something
of the book is that it's ostensibly a poetry collection annotated by a professor who is incredibly pompous and/or crazy. Any fun real-life examples of this?