Thursday, May 11, 2006

Does an author ever know whether he's breaking new ground?

Does an author ever really know whether he's breaking new ground? For example, with regard to the previous post entitled 'Bird Flu' about Selbi Cuderri's The Tenacity Of Feathers trilogy of novels (first blogged September 2005 - March 2006), how indeed *new* are its concepts or treatments of dream sickness, dream spam, strobe history, hawling, core mythos, blogging-real-time-action-day-by-day and characters trying to create their own Big Brother-type characters beyond the control of the author etc. etc. - plus Bird Flew (as recounted in part twelve of Klaxon City)??


I enjoy narrative undependability and collusive omniscience where not even the author, let alone the author's created narrator, is *truly* omniscient or 'in control'.

Anyone read this book?
'The Rhetoric Of Fiction' by Wayne Booth.
I read it in the sixties.

Also in recent years, I have been studying a book called 'Style In Fiction' by Leech & Short (Longman 1981) which explores paragraphs of fiction, examining graphological, phonological, syntactic and semantic nuances and patterns, discussing how they affect the meaning etc.

Do we miss all this? Or do we instinctively absorb it, however fast we read? Does it apply to all genres of literature? And does the writer intend these effects (in a slow laborious fashioning?) or instinctively produce them (at speed?)?

I myself feel both reader and writer 'do' this thing together - instinctively and at speed.

Indeed, generally, I prefer a free-wheeling instinctive approach to fiction-writing. For example, a lot of my own fiction is about characters creating their own characters in a sort of extrapolated 'Big Brother' experience as intrinsic to the plot, with only a light touch on the tiller from myself as author or narrator. Or that's the theory!

I have a lot of strange theories, perhaps, but a book stands or falls in the audience arena (and that includes the arena that it first meets vis a vis the agent or publisher). Or in the blogged Tenacity of Feathers novels, the audience arena is anyone who simply clicks on a website and reads them there or prints them out as a book!

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