Thursday, December 21, 2006

Annie Dillard

"The twentieth-century development in fiction of a thoroughly limited point of view has been overemphasized, I think, especially in the light of more radical recent developments. One could arge that the use of a limited point of view is positively old-fashioned.

When Conrad, Joyce, Faulkner, and Woolf used strictly limited points of view, they were moving the novel's arena into the mind and voice of individuals. This is consonant with the traditional virtues of depth, of rounded character, of emotional intimacy, and of sincerity.

Nevertheless, you could also argue, and I shall, that the intimate voice of a narrator moves fiction a notch toward its own surface, and as such is new-fashioned indeed. Paradoxically, such an intimate, limited point of view actually distances us from the action."


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