Burning down the house essays on fiction

Burning down the house essays on fiction

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Home burning down the house essays on fiction

ISBN 13: 9781555972561

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Like Zola, Jane Smiley assembles precisely and carefully a collection of facts, a naturalistic pileup of details about — in this case — farming and land use.

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Burning Down the House

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The essays are written from a teacher's perspective Burning down the house essays on fiction was heading the MFA program at the University of Michigan while working on this bookone who notices hojse in his students' work and then examines those trends to see how they fit in the literary culture at large. Thoughtful, quirky, obsessive, this collection will intrigue anyone who loves literature.

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marginalia || Burning Down the House: Essays on Fiction, by Charles Baxter

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In nine repackaged essays, novelist and short-story writer Baxter Believers, p.

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Burning Down the House: Essays on Fiction

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Now, this could be a valid criticism, and I sort of get where the reviewer is coming from. Shop for Books on Google Play Browse the world's largest eBookstore and start reading today on the web, tablet, phone, or ereader.

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Return to Book Page. Any writer or serious reader of fiction will cast a freshened eye to the page after reading this book.

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So we have created for ourselves a paradise of lawyers: To use a phrase by the German philosopher Peter Sloterdijk, employed in another context, these are "etudes in the higher banalities.

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Every story is a history, however, and when there is no comprehensible story, there is no history. Dignified giddiness is the best kind!

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Oct 01, Jason rated it it was amazing.

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Every essay in this book is terrific, though several stood out for me for personal reasons—an encomium to Donald Barthelme; a long consideration of the worth of melodrama and its sort-of complement, an essay about dys Kind of a master class between covers. Prose writers are constantly observing every facet of you so that they can place you in their next fiction.

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Turning Life into Fiction.

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Mistakes were made, although they were by no means his own, and the blogskin thesis that were committed were only crimes if you define "crime" in a certain way, in the way, for example, that his enemies like to define the word, in a manner that would be unfavorable to him, that would give him, to use a word derived from the Latin, some culpability.

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Great book within its context of realism.

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I can't recommend this book strongly enough for anyone interested in literature. Dignified giddiness is the best kind!

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So what if they are, in effect, refusing to tell their own stories dkwn They have arrived with a powerful, soul-altering force; and they have all been dead wrong.

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The reality behind the mask is like a shadow-creature rising to the bait: Sep 17, Kelly rated it it was amazing.

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The story is shocking. The book is about the essential criminality of furtive male desire.

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Graywolf Press Related to that, the writer analyses the presence, or lack thereof, of mistakes in fiction.

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Baxter's essays are less nuts-and-bolts craft oriented and more extended deep thoughts about literature and story and how they work.

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Thoughtful, case study sampling to the diversity of writing styles, processes, intentions. However, I do not agree with his objections on " epiphanies" and personifying objects in fiction, but I don't have to agree with everything he says for Charles Baxter's book to be a good learning experience in Writing.

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Such narratives humiliate the act of storytelling.

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We don't have characters any more who do bad things because they feel like doing them, because they give in to their baser instincts or because they have characteristics that make them do them, like jealousy, meanness, etc. So we have the spectacle of utterly perplexed villains deprived of their villainy.

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In this he is rather like James Wood a personal favorite pointing to the well-placed word or phrase or sentence and shouting:

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How can the contemporary disavowal movement not affect those of us who tell stories? The buck stops here?

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Jan 25, Robert Wechsler rated it really liked it Shelves: Write a customer review.

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Create a free website or blog at WordPress.

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A fascinating collection of essays on the art of fiction, which are fascinating primarily because of Charles Baxter's creative choices of topics: It is, in fact, more or less the perfect book for trying to "find the rules, break the rules.

Baxter is an astute observer of this culture, well read in literature, philosophy, and psychology, and able to apply all three to This is an excellent collection of essays, for both writers and readers of literary fiction. We blame the family, and we do it on afternoon TV talk shows, like Oprah.

Graywolf Press , Instead of achieving closure, the story spreads over the landscape like a stain as we struggle to find a source of responsibility. See All Goodreads Deals…. Search for all books with this author and title. Humor, personal anecdote, and a passion for the written word are all just as common in these essays as the aforementioned academic approaches. See all 4 reviews. In his own words, "Melodrama is the recognition, dramatically, that understanding sometimes fails, articulation fails, and enlightenment fails.

In Burning Down the House, Baxter delves into the social and political circumstances that influence today's "urgent issues of storytelling. Mistakes were made, although they were by no means his own, and the crimes that were committed were only crimes if you define "crime" in a certain way, in the way, for example, that his enemies like to define the word, in a manner that would be unfavorable to him, that would give him, to use a word derived from the Latin, some culpability.

Oct 01, Jason rated it it was amazing. The tone and language never feel pedantic, not even professorial. The author's material provides adequate examples that display a good imagery of the subjects he writes about on "Counter Characterization", the "Inner Life of Objects", Defamiliarization", " Rhyming Action" and more.

Interested in writing fiction? I could imagine a sentimental writer, dipping into his arsenal of scaled human emotions and taking out a pinch of cynicism, a touch of bitterness, a slice of of anger and a hint of gloom to portray a character suffering from depression. Authors often take a reductive path of explaining the art and it often turns into a di Charles Baxter's talents as a superb writer, especially of short fiction, are well known.

On the way to divorce court, we stop at the Dairy Queen. View or edit your browsing history. Published May 26th by Graywolf Press first published Masks are interesting partly for themselves and partly for what they mask. We don't know who the agent of the action is. A series of academic essays on off-beat literary topics. It was all just politics. Baxter is an astute observer of this culture, well read in literature, philosophy, and psychology, and able to apply all three to the human condition and come up with fresh insights about how we think of ourselves and others, and how this is best reflected in the literary arts.

Things have just happened. No eBook available Amazon.

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