David Ross (dyvyd) wrote,
David Ross

Is Fiction just Diction?

Although it is said that mannered writing is a form of frigidity that stands between the writer and the reader, I find that an author with a "style" writes in a far more consistent fashion than an author who has none, or too many. John Gardner, for instance, in his book The Art of Fiction warns against writing like a Nabokov. Just how likely is that anyway? But taking Nabokov as an example, am I wrong to believe that his mannered style is part (how much?) of what makes him great? There seems to be a point where divergence from the clear open window on narrative becomes more attractive to the reader than the story itself. By analogy, some of us will watch any John Wayne movie, regardless of the plot or brilliance of the script, simply because we are getting our fix of "pure John Wayne." Readers become fond of mannered writers for the same sort of reason. Nabokov fans just want more Nabokov-- the story can go hang. In his case of course, he is genius enough to overcome his own defect of a "mannered style." With some writers the style or diction of their writing is more subtle, but nonetheless pervasive in their work. Readers thus select various authors when they are in various moods, not because of the stories or genres, but because of the "atmosphere" they find themselves immersed in while reading. So I ask, is fiction just diction?
Tags: writers and writing

  • Cowboy Feng's Space Bar and Grille

    Is it cool? Brust believes that literature is a process of putting everything you think is cool into a piece of writing. This book does have sort of…

  • An INCEPTION From the Rule

    3rd Revision: final (for now) 7-20-10 Of course I mean an exception from(or to) the rule, but in the logic of this wildly illogical movie, it…

  • Another Slice of Crowleycake: Engine Summer

    I have just put down John Crowley's novel Engine Summer, and want to toss out my thoughts quickly while still under the spell of the book. It may…

  • Post a new comment


    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.