Download e-book for iPad: 13 Ways of Looking at the Novel by Jane Smiley

By Jane Smiley

ISBN-10: 1400040590

ISBN-13: 9781400040599

Over a rare twenty-year profession, Jane Smiley has written all types of novels: secret, comedy, ancient fiction, epic. “Is there whatever Jane Smiley can't do?” raves Time magazine. yet within the wake of 9-11, Smiley faltered in her hitherto unflagging impulse to jot down and made up our minds to strategy novels from a special attitude: she learn 100 of them, from classics similar to the thousand-year-old Tale of Genji to fresh fiction via Zadie Smith, Nicholson Baker, and Alice Munro.

Smiley explores–as no novelist has prior to her–the extraordinary intimacy of analyzing, why a singular succeeds (or doesn’t), and the way the unconventional has replaced through the years. She describes a novelist as “right at the cusp among somebody who is familiar with every thing and a person who is aware nothing,” but whose “job and ambition is to boost a conception of the way it feels to be alive.”

In her inimitable style–exuberant, candid, opinionated–Smiley invitations us backstage of novel-writing, sharing her personal behavior and spilling the secrets and techniques of her craft. She walks us step by step in the course of the e-book of her latest novel, Good religion, and, in important chapters on how you can write “a novel of your own,” bargains precious recommendation to aspiring authors. 

Thirteen methods of taking a look at the radical may quantity to a weird kind of autobiography. We see Smiley studying in mattress with a chocolate bar; mulling over plot twists whereas cooking dinner for her kinfolk; even, on the age of twelve, devouring Sherlock Holmes mysteries, which she later discovered have been between her earliest literary versions for plot and character.

And in a thrilling end, Smiley considers separately the only hundred books she learn, from Don Quixote to Lolita to Atonement, presenting her personal insights and sometimes arguable opinions. In its scope and gleeful eclecticism, her interpreting record is among the so much compelling–and surprising–ever assembled.

Engaging, clever, occasionally irreverent, Thirteen Ways is vital analyzing for a person who has ever escaped into the pages of a singular or, for that subject, desired to write one. In Smiley’s personal phrases, ones she came upon herself turning to over the process her trip: “Read this. I guess you’ll like it.”

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Marguerite de Navarre was a queen and the sister of a king. Ernest Hemingway shot himself. 3 8 T H I R T E E N W A Y S O F L O O K I N G A T T H E N O V E L F Scott Fitzgerald and Sinclair Lewis were famously and, depending on your view of drunks, tragically or heroically or obnoxiously dissipated. George Eliot lived out of wedlock with a man who was married to another woman. Edith Wharton was immensely rich and socially prominent. Aphra Behn was a successful dramatist in Restoration London, and traveled to South America as a young woman.

As a result, it appeals to the reader's sense of her own distinctness and importance. And novel-reading cannot be a collective experience. Just as, without Hamlet to remind the audience that appearances are deceiving, the audience of a drama might believe in the legitimacy of Claudius' rule, so, too, without authorial reminders of the importance of "the people" or "the nation," novelreaders might forget the existence of the collective (as opposed to a group of distinct individuals) entirely. In a society that promotes conformity, novel-reading—one person experiencing both the mind of another person and her own mind experiencing—is a subversive force.

For a reader, adding on may offer primarily the pleasure of familiarity—the WHAT IS A NOVEL? / 9 characters or the narrator's voice or the author's way of thinking become something the reader wants to continue to experience. In a novel, length is always a promise, never a threat. When the protagonist enters, a novel becomes spécifie, and even peculiar, and loses the generality that the other four elements seem to offer. The protagonist shapes the other four elements to himself. The narrative must be appropriate to him—it must grow out of his circumstances and teach him something.

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13 Ways of Looking at the Novel by Jane Smiley


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