Friday, September 12, 2008

Detail and realism

I continue to look at things differently based on what I'm reading in the James Wood book How Fiction Works. Last night I was re-reading the chapter on detail where he discusses the custom in modernist narrative to have a surplus of unnecessary or "off duty" detail to help build a sense of realism. Reading my own work that this morning, I noticed how much I did that, which I have often felt a lack of confidence in. At times the unnecessariness of it stands out very clearly. In that case, quite the opposite of a sense of realism, what you get is a sense of the artist at work and all his preciousness.

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