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James Wood º 2 Read

Idely from Homer to Make Way for Ducklings from the Bible to John le Carré and his book is both a study of the techniues of fiction making and an alternative history of the novel Playful and profound How Fiction Works will be enlightening to writers readers and anyone else interested in what happens on the page. 021116 this is gently deceptive as a title this is not how fiction works but how a sort of fiction works which happens to be his sort and likely to be the sort that interests someone who would read a book like this on the one acknowledged classics admired contemporary widely sourced on the other neither breathtakingly popular which might garner readers for possibly non literary reasons such as this movie or that event or person nor obscurely involved in literary exploration of exactly what he says is needed to make fiction work such as character narrator voice and so onit is brief it is concise it is clear it has a good bibliography and i discover by the number of said books read that yes i am someone who would read a book like this

Characters How Fiction Works

How Fiction Works

Ur time looks into the machinery of storytelling to ask some fundamental uestions What do we mean when we say we know a fictional character What constitutes a telling detail When is a metaphor successful Is Realism realistic Why do some literary conventions become dated while others stay freshJames Wood ranges w. This is a book I ve read re read and re re read I go back to it freuently whenever I ve finished one of the titles from its bibliography or just to revisit Wood s various topics Deceptively simple and uickly read If allowed HFW will inform any novel you read It is not comprehensive in its scope it omits topics like plot structure etc and limits itself to Wood s own intersts an issue some reviewers take exception to There was a time when I d read a passage from a novel and wonder whose word IS that Thanks to Wood I realize many of those passages were written in free indirect style Now that I can identify it I see its use freuently and have an appreciation for its utility Whatever else this book is it is NOT a how to manual for new authors Although they would likely benefit from reading it Wood s simple presentation considers an abundance of novels many uite well known or classics and he adds insight to every title mentioned This book is nothing like his books of essays but it is informed by the same sensibility For those who might be theory or criticism averse

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In the tradition of E M Forster's Aspects of the How Fiction PDFEPUB or Novel and Milan Kundera's The Art of the Novel How Fiction Works is a scintillating study of the magic of fiction an analysis of its main elements and a celebration of its lasting power Here one of the most prominent and stylish critics of o. Critics often get a bad reputation and likely deservingly so I often reflect on a uote by Macedonio Fern ndez that a critic knows nothing of what perfect literature is but only what it is not and especially while writing on Goodreads am constantly haunted by Susan Sontag s Against Interpretation I tend to think of critics as being that friend in high school that hangs out at your band practice He is the friend that knows about your songs than you do and has memorized your lyrics before you ve finished writing them he is friend that talks about your band and is always there to support your band because somehow it makes him feel like he is part of the band maybe even the key part When I write on here I have to accept the fact that I am glorifying an art that puts stars in my eyes but the I point out theory and what does and doesn t work still in no way makes me feel as if I am able to create the art that I love to assess Occasionally I have a bit of an existential crisis everyone needs a good existential crisis from time to time and wonder why I spent so much time writing about writing instead of simply attempting art myself not that I m a critic or am in any way ualified to give opinions on a book Perhaps it is because I am no good at it but talking about it makes me feel like I can be part of that cool club of artists as if understanding Roberto Bola o somehow makes me like one of the characters hanging out with him in his books that I so adoreJames Wood saves me from the despair of actually loving the idea of being a critic To be honest if you were to ask me what do you want to be when you grow up because at 28 I still think of the future in this way and forget that I am grown up because I sure as hell don t feel like it I would answer that my rock star dream is to teach college lit and review books for the New Yorker Just like my boy James Wood Wood makes reviewing its own art form that is as eually valid and beautiful as literature itself When I read his reviews I read them with the same awe and critical eye as I do any novelist the man packs theory and prose into tiny packages of literary power that paint a masterpiece of ideas on the canvas of a novel Just today I was wowed by his review of The Buried Giant in which he managed to reveal all the novel s misgivings while capturing all the author s strengths James Wood gives critics a good name and his How Fiction Works is an immensely valuable readI learned from this book than I did in all of college pursuing an English Degree Wood tackles the theory and joy of an intensely impressive array of writers probably pointing out even to them just what they get right or wrong John Updike is used in some of the best do NOT do this passages of the book This book is indispensable to anyone hoping to look deeper into books and have the literary science to solidify your own opinion and will create an endless to read list from all the examples he delivers Wood is opinionated and rather aggressively so though I tend to often agree with him and even when I don t his opinions are so well argued that they are still a joy to read I take this down off the shelf and read over select passages it is one long essay broken up into mercifully short chapters at least once every few months This man has my rock star job and just may be my hero


10 thoughts on “How Fiction Works

  1. says:

    “When I talk about free indirect style I am really talking about point of view and when I talk about point of view I am really talking about the perception of detail and when I talk about detail I'm really talking about ch

  2. says:

    Critics often get a bad reputation and likely deservingly so I often reflect on a uote by Macedonio Fernández that a critic knows nothing of what perfect literature is but only what it is not and especially while writing on Goodreads am constantly haunted by Susan Sontag's Against Interpretation I tend to think of critics

  3. says:

    For 75 pages this was all clang clang clang goes the trolley ding ding ding goes the bell but then it turned a sharp corner and I think I done got throwed off the bus Ow As it rattled off without me I was left to think carefully about what I’m doing when I read a novel aside from avoiding the interminable election debates on tv OMG another 3 weeks to go and what I think a novel is doing or supposed to be doing It’s

  4. says:

    What I love about books like this is that they are filled with gobbets I rewatched The History Boys also referenced at one point not too long ago including a casual reference to the ridiculousness that is Boney M and allow me to dip into books I would never consider reading or had up to that point never considered reading without necessarily looking to agree or disagree with what is being said instead just soaking it all in Narrat

  5. says:

    This is a book I've read re read and re re read I go back to it freuently whenever I've finished one of the titles from its bibliography or just to revisit Wood's various topics Deceptively simple and uickly read If allowed HFW will inform a

  6. says:

    I kind of hate reading books of this sort as they leave me with a heightened awareness of style character rhythm etc that makes it difficult to read average or sub par fiction Of course the benefit of reading books like this is that I do cult

  7. says:

    A verymost entertaining and informative book about books and how writers make them from words placed in different orders Split into handy chapters but written as one lengthy essay with numerical subheadings Wood teaches us

  8. says:

    021116 this is gently deceptive as a title this is not how 'fiction' works but how a 'sort' of fiction works which happens to be his 'sort' and likely to be the 'sort' that interests someone who would read a book like this on the one acknowledged classics admired contemporary widely sourced on the other neither breathtakingly popular which m

  9. says:

    I thought this book would be written with a writerly slant but no More with a readerly slant turns out Still as a writer wading into novel writing you can pick up a thing or two Up to you I imagine Wood thinking He's about educating readersThe good thing? This is mostly approached in layman's terms It does not come acros

  10. says:

    Between the years 1910 and 1915 R A Torrey and A C Dixon compiled a series of books of essays entitled The Fundamentals With this series Torrey and Dixon set out to give the true Christian absolutely everything that she needed to know in order to have as complete a picture of the Creation as possible Perhaps in t

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