Nov 23 2011

The “What makes it ” game

Published by at 12:30 am under Uncategorized

During class discussion, we have argued what makes a “good” book and what makes a good author. Is a book appealing when it is difficult to read? or does that take away the literary value of it? Authors like Salvador Plascencia take reading literature to an entire different level. Instead of reading the traditional style prose, his novel consist of the combinations of columns, pictures, cross-outs, words fading, stanzas, graffiti, black boxes, landscape text and so much more unique styles. What type of effect does this have on the reader? Is the reader more intrigued or frustrated with the text? It all depends I would say. Another “difficult” author of the 21st century would be David Foster Wallace.

Wallace’s novels often combine various writing modes or voices, and incorporate jargon and vocabulary (sometimes invented) from a wide variety of fields. His writing featured self-generated abbreviations and acronyms, long multi-clause sentences, and a notable use of explanatory footnotes and endnotes—often nearly as expansive as the text proper. He used endnotes extensively in Infinite Jest and footnotes in “Octet” as well as in the great majority of his nonfiction after 1996. On the Charlie Rose show in 1997, Wallace claimed that the notes were used to disrupt the linearity of the narrative, to reflect his perception of reality without jumbling the entire structure. He suggested that he could have instead jumbled up the sentences, “but then no one would read it.”[28]

According to Wallace, “fiction’s about what it is to be a fucking human being,” and he expressed a desire to write “morally passionate, passionately moral fiction” that could help readers “become less alone inside.”[29] In his Kenyon College commencement address, he describes the human condition of daily crises and chronic disillusionment and warns against solipsism,[30] invoking compassion, mindfulness, and existentialism:[31]

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