Tuesday, November 04, 2008

The only character who really gets to talk

(Via The Pop Triad) Lionel Shriver on quotation marks and why their absence is off-putting: "The appearance of authorial self-involvement in much modern literary fiction puts off what might otherwise comprise a larger audience. By stifling the action of speech, by burying characters' verbal conflicts within a blurred, all-encompassing ├╝ber-voice, the author does not seem to believe in action -- and many readers are already frustrated with literary fiction's paucity of plot. When dialogue makes no sound, the only character who really gets to talk is the writer."