Thursday, August 11, 2005

Celebration Post

"... under the imaginary table that separates me from my readers, don't we secretly clasp each other's hands?" ~ Bruno Schulz

Interesting quote. I like the give and take imagery - that a reader is reaching out to me as I reach out to him/her. As a reader I can see myself doing that - hoping the writer will succeed in giving me a worthwhile read. I know he/she has succeeded when I forget there is a writer.

As a writer I want to do that - strive to do it - to connect to such an extent that the reader enters in and forgets about me while he/she engages in the story. If the reader has grasped my hand, at that point she'd forget she's hanging on.

I've read books in which the author was too intrusive - sometimes the language is just a bit too literary, or the voice of a character suddenly takes on a tone that isn't true. Those things throw me off and I'm likely to put the book down. But then there are other times when the authenticity is gripping and the story draws me along like the hexing flow of a fast-moving river.
I'd like to acheive that balance of fast pace and 'literary' writing - a fine edge to walk.

Some books I think acheived it -
Peace Like a River by Leif Enger; The Weeping Chamber by Sigmund Brouwer; Gilead by Marilyn Robinson; Bad Ground by Dale Cramer


Paula said...

Interesting thoughts. Thanks for making me think about how my style could intrude on the reader.

violet said...

Yes, Marci I so agree. In fact, that is one of the ways I gauge the effectiveness of the writing I read. When I forget about the medium (the fact that I'm reading, that there even is an author) and am totally gripped by the story is the best writing in my books.

To extend the metaphor -- I gues that would be when the touch of the writer's hand becomes as unconscious as the feel of glasses on my face.

Dee said...

I agree to violet. Getting caught up inside a great story grips you. Doesn't it. Great post.