Our prose fiction class yesterday was most enjoyable. We each read a passage from a book or short story we had chosen because of the way it resonated with us. There are times when I realise that, because I did science at school, and read mainly science fiction, adventure and horse stories when I was a teen, I’ve missed out on a whole load of books others think of as standard. I have, of course, read a lot of things they haven’t!
The excerpts were most interesting and I must follow some of them up. H P Lovecraft is probably too scary for me, but the sample of a short story was resonant with description and presentation that really stirred the imagination. A gelatinous voice…. what a superb description. James Joyce is someone I’ve avoided as ‘too difficult’ but The Dubliners might be something I could try. John Updike was almost the opposite of these writers, going into detail to really hammer home the situation by focusing on the minutiae of it, which gave you a different view of the protagonists entirely. Alison Moore (The Lighthouse – nominated for the Booker Prize) has a marvellous way of using time and leaving you with a lingering memory. Roddy Doyle is amazing, and I’m sure I have read one of his books years ago, but he is someone I should read more of. The last one was from Anne Charles’ Fugitive Pieces and I didn’t really get that at all, but I can understand why it was chosen. I selected a passage from The Hare with Amber Eyes which I’ve reviewed here.
Good food for thought about different styles of writing. Our tutor commented that we had chosen passages that reflected our own styles, so maybe we have been influenced by them without realising it. Or prefer things written in that style.