Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: Something Nasty

Date: 09 Sep 2000

>And isn't that what Chandler was saying, that a man should go down
>those mean streets, neither tarnished nor afraid, a man who is not
>himself mean?
Oh yes, of course. But we have to draw a line between characters and authors, or the third-person/omniscient narrative voice. Some characters are tarnished, some are afraid, some are prejudiced, some are stupid, some are evil. We only have words to put this across, and the words we assign to these characters have to tell more about them than they know about themselves, or want us to know. Where it goes wrong is when we are poncing and posing and trying to persuade the readers that WE, not our characters, are big bad and ugly.

Marianne Macdonald (whose characters are always polite)

PS And Chris is very right about English villages. I could tell a story.... Actually, I have (next year's book).

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