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S I ve found some excellent essays by horrorsf author Dan Simmons on his web site but exploration is Fat: An Appreciation of a Misunderstood Ingredient, with Recipes reuired Iead this some years ago and it was completely impressive all about tellin and Showin And Modernism Wishing To Drive Out and modernism wishing to drive out author s voice and very not eliable narrators and four kinds of ealism and Henry James and how tears and laughter are aesthetically frauds god damn them to hell Years later when I thought of this book a little something popped into my head I saw a scarecrow in a field peering closer I saw he had my face and he was grinning glassily and singing I could while away the hoursRe eading Richard PowersOr maybe Gertrude StainAnd my head I d be scratchin While my thoughts were busy hatchin If I only had a brainI d unravel any iddleof modernistic piddlewhile commutin on a trainAnd my thoughts would be dancin I could be another FranzenIf I only had a brainI could entertain the missusWith tales of brave UlyssesOr even James M CainI would formulate the piecesOf my throbbing mighty thesisIf I only had a brain Exam Darkness Light reading Most of you probably don t care toead this I won t be offended This is pretty much THE bible for hetorical literary criticism which is I discovered through the course of my PhD coursework how I actually think of literature but didn t have the language for until ecently My dissertation is going to be about applying this framework in secondary English For those of you who care Which isn t too many of you However this particular text for my purposes was only super useful during Part One The second and third sections were less what I needed so I admit I skimmed them What is nice about this second edition is that the author spends uite a bit of time going back over his first edition and amending things he believed to be true then but sees differently now esponding to feedbackcriticism he had gotten in the 20 years since the first publication etc Anyway this book is GIGANTIC and I ead it in one sitting This is my job for the moment I ealize I am currently at the office aka the Caribou Coffee near my house so I m not looking for any sort of pat on the back but seriously 400 pages of academic writing in
One Day My Brain Was Fried I Think My Mark day My brain was fried I think my mark not fair to the book it gives a lot of work to the brain and is eally enlightening But I certainly had problems with following author s logic and his examples often overbearingly detailed If you e into stuff like this you can ead the full Not Handsome Enough reviewNarrative Voices The Rhetoric of Fiction by Wayne C BoothOriginal Review 1981 03 28When Booth came up with the idea of the unreliable narrator he wasn t speaking to writers he waseminding critics and teachers and eaders in general of something every decent writer of fiction has always known that a narrator is a voice and a voice is a character and is still a character a created fictional person whether it has a name or is just an apparently omniscient int Insofar as the title of Booth s book is The Rhetoric of Fiction and that hetoric is both the carriage of argument over words and the lack thereof it is completely appropriate that Booth s book ends with him advancing the argument that his book has been about morality in fiction and acknowledging that most modern his word fiction is modern precisely in the lack of such moralityBooth s survey of fictional techniue is both deep and broad and is a fantastic spur to Busy Park read some and this is perhaps a bizarre thing to say given their great fame but still nonetheless true I feel often overlooked great writers Fielding Sterne James and Richardson his. Te texts and its concepts and terms such as the implied author the postulatedeader and the unreliable narrator have become part of the standard critical lexiconFor this new edition Wayne C Booth has written an extensive Afterword in which he clarifies misunderstandings corrects what he now views as errors and set. ,
Not all literary theorists choose to focus on hetoric of course but
Wayne Booth Is ParticularlyBooth is particularly in exploring the means by which authors persuade their eaders Booth begins his book by commenting on some of the GIS and Fr�uleins: The German-American Encounter in 1950s West Germany rules that have been promulgated about fiction writing first discussing the admonition that the author must showather than tell Booth cites many examples of fine fiction that seems to violate this ule ultimately concluding that the distinction itself is simplistic and in many cases uite arbitrary In fact since b One of Narratology s most daunting curses is that everyone me too believes they
know what it is about except that they don t First andwhat it is about except that they don t First and person narration sure basic shit ight Except that NOAdmitting at the same time the limitations of the field and not pretending it is an exact science while pretending it be treated with the methodological approach of an actual science The Rhetoric of Fiction is a veritable gold mine explaining several key concepts in narratology A must Big Bad Detective Agency read for any literature student Booth s sheer enthusiasm for his topic make this a greatead for any dedicated eader whatsoeverAlthough occasionally a bit verbose it s also one of those are theoretical texts that is ACTUALLY FUCKING UNDERSTANDABLE like uite easily Gee Mr Booth thanks I picked up and Otto Freundlich: Cosmic Communism read Rhetoric from the perspective of an author wannabe so my copy is now scored with underlines and margin notes that will enable me to keep my interpretations and its key points straight when I browse through it later foreference It goes beyond grammersyntax advice beyond plotcharactertheme construction to explore what actually makes a good novel a good novel I m not taking away any hard and fast lessons Mr Booth largely dispenses with the possibility of #such things but I have now been made witness to many enlightening #things but I have now been made witness to many enlightening It makes me interested in pursuing works I previously had no desire to ead eg Tristram Shandy Tom Jones Madame Bovary possibly Ulysses and the works of Henry James and Graham Greene among a few others because I m better positioned to appreciate the telling of these tales not just the tales themselves I can see Rhetoric being a worthwhile ead for anyone who would like to acuire a similar appreciationSomeone wiser than me summarized this book s thesis as all narrative is Profiles in Leadership: Historians on the Elusive Quality of Greatness rhetoric An author has tangible presence in hisher fiction novel however well disguised or aloof heshe strives to be and many have tried very hard depending on changing trends in critcism of how obvious how much obvious presence is judged acceptable There is a second self thus produced by the author here called the implied author in the course of writing a fiction piece that suggests a personality who is pulling the strings behind the scenes This implied author is tantamount to being a character in the story and should not be euated with the actual author The actual author needs to be aware of this implied presence heshe is creating and its effect on how theeader perceives and eads the story A good author writing a good novel will be aware of and use this presence to hisher advantage by being fully aware of what heshe is making a case for and employ good hetoric accordinglyI m led to wonder how much of what I would have called an author s style is correctly attributed as characteristics of this implied author concept I think my next step should be to find a book that takes what Mr Booth produced here and explores that uestion I d like to obtain a firmer understanding of what is meant by style in the context of this book s thesi. The first edition of The Rhetoric of Fiction transformed the criticism of fiction and soon became a classic in the field One of the most widely used texts in fiction courses it is a standard eference point in advanced discussions of how fictional form works how authors make novels accessible and how eaders ecrea. Most freuent exemplars Indeed in some places this book is simply a critiue Percy Lubbock s hand theories borrowed from James himself accomplished ather Percy Lubbock s second hand theories borrowed from James himself accomplished Der Bilderwächter rather by looking at James s work I began to have the ideaeading Booth s long section on James s eflectors that spending a year or two unning down all of the evisions that the Master made in his New York edition would be totally worthwhile Likewise I am excited to ead Tom Jones I wouldn t have Schätze Aus Dem Musée Picasso, Paris read it all withouteading this book I don t thinkThe author makes his Letters to Rollins readers If he makes them badly that is if he simply waits in all purity for the occasionaleader whose perceptions and norms happen to match his own then his conception must be lofty indeed if we are to forgive him for his bad craftsmanship But if he makes them well that is makes them see what they have never seen before moves them into a new order of perception and experience altogether he finds his Britain, Europe And The Third World reward in the peers he has created is how Booth closes his book And if one substitutes the concept of having something anything of value to articulate behind what one says some concept that is of value to the author and is worth the trouble of articulation for Booth s somewhat hazier concept of morality then the modern writer fits suarely into Booth shetoric If it is no longer the enumeration of a moral code that is at the center of the author s project then modern fiction is no longer so opaue or obtuse as Booth paints it uite on its own this book is valuable as a teaching tool in making the Scotland Yard reader and the writerealize that whatever may be the aim of a particular piece of fiction its hetoric emains essentially the same across the spectrum of possible works and is always part of the piece of fiction itself contained within the particular work and or less clear at the expense of making its argument Just when you think Booth isn t going to present any anecdotes about his friend in his youth beating off to the orgy scenes in Brave New World BAM there it is page 389 A systematic and even handed study for which I ate him up there with Bakhtin Convergence of critical
Analysis And Craftsmanship In The Modern Novel Particularly In Andand craftsmanship in the modern novel particularly in and Henry James If one were to be so impudent as to simplify this book into any takeaway message it is that one must take the middle way without generalizations that we must emember the tautological fact If you do such and such badly it will be bad Not that any method or techniue is true or false but that it must be true in the context of its workIn apologizing for the pedantry of interpretation in his last section he uotes from Saul Bellow s Deep Readers of the World Beware 1959 Perhaps the deepest eaders are those who are least sure of themselves An even disturbing suspicion is that they prefer meaning to feelingHis approach to Portrait of the Artist is marvelous and his offhand summary of Joyce s epiphany is the best I ve ead When in his earliest years he UFO Crash at Roswell: The Genesis of a Modern Myth recorded his brief epiphanies those bits of dialogue or description that were supposed toeveal the inner Peig: The Autobiography of Peig Sayers of the Great Blasket Island reality of things there was always an implied identification of theecorder s norms and the Löwen wecken reader s both were spectators at theevealing moment both shared iin the vision of one moment of truth Though some of the epiphanies are funny some sad and some mixed the basic effect is always the same an overwhelming sense when they succeed of what Joyce liked to call the incarnation Artistic Meaning has come to live in the world s body The Poet has done his work 331The bibliography alone is an enormous Fathers and Sons: Roads Classics resource. S forth his ownecent thinking about the hetoric of fiction The other new feature is a Supplementary Bibliography prepared by James Phelan in consultation with the author which lists the important critical works of the past twenty years two decades that Booth describes as the ichest in the history of the subject.