Re: RARA-AVIS: Unreliable narrator

From: Kerry J. Schooley (
Date: 15 Nov 2005

At 08:10 PM 14/11/2005 -0500, you wrote:
>Badly written literary novels don't become "popular," because the people who
>read that "genre" are interested in the writing itself, and can't ignore bad
>technique and cheating because of getting carried away with idea and plot.
>Also, think of this, to write a literary novel you need both depth of
>characterization and plot, but you can write a plot-driven novel using
>only plot and some
>stereotypes, e.g. Agatha Christie.

Sure you can. And you can write a character-driven novel that is under plotted, with lots of beautiful language and great imagery and still have it called a literary success, e.g. Michael Ondaatje. I've met all sorts of people who haven't read The English Patient tell me how good it is. They feel they should have ready it because it's supposed to be good for them to read such stuff. Me, I think the novel's a failure if people stop reading, for whatever reason. Sometimes that reason is because there's not enough happening, not enough plot, to engage their interest. And the fact is, I don't trust a lot of Ondaatje's characters (even in The Skin of A Lion) because I'm told so much about them.

But that's me. Kerry

------------------------------------------------------ Literary events Calendar (South Ont.) The evil men do lives after them

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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 15 Nov 2005 EST