Anne Stameshkin, Greg Schutz, Celeste Ng, Natalie Bakopoulos, and Jeremiah Chamberlin lead a series of discussions on critic James Wood’s latest collection of essays, How Fiction Works.
Posts Tagged ‘discussion review’
I’ve been trying to read Muriel Barbery’s critically acclaimed novel The Elegance of the Hedgehog, and while I’m relishing many of the author’s ideas, they feel to me like just that–the author’s ideas, not ones that belong to the book’s characters; a wealthy pre-teen and middle-aged concierge spend at least the first section of Hedgehog [...]
Fiction can change the world. Now that I’ve dropped that lead balloon on my foot, allow me to leave it there temporarily as penance for not only opening with such a clichéd adage, but also a self-aggrandizing one. Worse yet, I believe it. Deeply. Despite how hackneyed a statement, fiction has the potential to change [...]
The chapter/essay of How Fiction Works I found most intriguing was the last one: “Truth, Convention, and Realism”; the issues touched on within could easily be the subject of an entire book. What I find the most perplexing is coming to a definition of “realism” in the first place. Is realism truth? Mimesis? Traditional narration?
In his chapter on “Detail,” Wood takes on a standby of Fiction I: the telling detail. Details, we’re usually told, should be significant, not gratuitous; they should give us some particular insight into the character or the setting. If there are telling details, Wood suggests, there must be untelling details as well. [...]
How Fiction Works is simultaneously a gloss on the history of what James Wood calls “modern realist narration” and an encapsulation of much of Wood’s criticism to date. That is to say, in charting realism’s development, Wood revisits many subjects from his two previous books of essays, The Broken Estate and The Irresponsible Self.
Much of [...]
Over the next week, I will join fellow FWR contributors Greg Schutz, Celeste Ng, Natalie Bakopoulos, and Jeremiah Chamberlin in discussing critic James Wood’s latest collection of essays, How Fiction Works. Feel free to join the conversation by commenting on our blog posts.
In How Fiction Works, Wood approaches the elusive how behind craft by [...]
At FWR, we plan to experiment with different ways to conduct discussion, or conversational, reviews about books. For Lush Life, we tried the immediate (and often overlapping) method of a real-time IM conversation; for our December selection, How Fiction Works, we’re going to try a series of posts by various participants over the course of [...]
Four writer-readers chat about Richard Price’s novel Lush Life and David Simon’s critically acclaimed HBO series The Wire.