Saturday, April 28, 2007

Margot Livesey

"Looking at other nineteenth century novels - Wuthering Heights,
Dracula, The Woman in White
- I discovered a startling number of
inter-locking narrators, diaries found in locked boxes, death-bed
confessions and, of course, letters. These authors knew that their
incredible tales needed authenticating and they approached their
readers like a prosecutor a jury, bombarding us with testimonials from
expert witnesses.

In this century such devices have fallen out of fashion but not because we have become more credulous as readers. If anything, our credulity has declined and we are liable to read a letter in fiction as yet more fiction....

Not only have we grown wary of devices but we have decided to privilege memory over imagination, or so it seems to me."



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