Posted by Jane Elizabeth on October 27, 1997 at 15:50:06:
In response to Does the End of Romance Mean the End of the Narritive?, written by Cassia on October 25, 1997 at 16:45:38
I think some contemporary fiction is starting to rediscover pure narrative, and not a moment too soon. Two recent award winning books come to mind. One, Independence Day, is beautifully written and observed, but really has a very slight story to tell. It left me unmoved. The other, Snow Falling on Cedars, is also beautifully written, but like Posession, has a mystery at its heart. The narrative made it possible for me to grab onto the characters as I awaited the outcome of their stories. Maybe I'm just a shallower reader than some, but I NEED a beginning, middle and end.
I just read a colection of Edith Wharton stories, and they struck me as a sort of bridge between fiction styles. Each one told a very specific, almost contrived story, and yet the characterizations were so rich they trancended the narrative. Yet in retrospect I realized that I came to care about the people because I wanted to know what happened. Isn't this the essence of storytelling? Deconstruct away, academics, but it is human nature to want beginnings, middles and ends, even if they are slightly out of order.
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