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Lecture 8

Lecture 8 – Minimalism, Diction, Realism.docx

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ENGL 1000Y

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Lecture 8 – Minimalism, Diction, Realism
First sentence from the Faulkner: “It was a big, squarish frame house that had
once been white, decorated with cupolas and spires and scrolled balconies in the
heavily lightsome style of the seventies…”
Hemingway: “It was very late and everyone had left the cake except an old man
who sat in the shadow the leaves of the tree made against the electric light.”
oFaulkner uses way more detail (cupolas, spires, scrolled balconies)
oFaulkner also brings up the narrator, so you know it’s going to be a story
both about Emily and the Narrator
oFaulkner uses metaphors
oHemingway uses the bare minimum
oIf Hemingway had added more to the first sentence, you would know so
much more
In his stories, you just often don’t know
Poe’s Usher: “I shall perish… with the grim phantasm, FEAR.”
Hemingway: “Last week he tried… he has plenty of money.
oThese aren’t just two different people; Hemingway would have been
incapable of writing the first paragraph. Hemingway believes that we
don’t reveal ourselves in long, lovely periodic sentences. He believes that
the short conversation is much more similar to how people actually speak
oEven though Poe’s piece is over-the-top, to interpret it might be simpler
than interpreting Hemingway, because you are most likely be asking
yourself, “Why should I give a shit?!”
How do you talk about style? (think about for paper due next week)
oSentence length
oKinds of sentences
oCount syllables – look at how many single syllable words Hemingway
uses; basically monosyllabic
Showing and Telling
oShowing: the apparently direct presentation of speech and events
oTelling: the presentation of speech and events in which the narrator makes
his/her presence and values known
oWhen a narrator shows what happened, she disappears; you hardly notice
that the story’s being told by someone
oWhen a narrator tells something, she makes his/her presence known,
particularly through the use of adverbs, adjectives, and other NON-
OBJECTIVE techniques
oDavid Lodge, The Art of Fiction
The pursest form of showing is the quoted speech of character
The purest form of telling is authorial summary, in which the
conciseness and abstraction of the narrator’s language effaces…

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