July 26, 2009


A great deal of nonsense is written every day about characters in fiction -- from the side of those who believe too much in character and from the side of those who believe too little. Those who believe too much have an iron set of prejudices about what characters are: we should get to "know" them; they should not be "stereotypes"; they should have an "inside" as well as an outside, depth as well as surface; they should "grow" and "develop"; and they should be nice. So they should be pretty much like us... A glance at the thousands of foolish "reader reviews" on Amazon.com, with their complaints about "dislikeable characters," confirms a contagion of moralizing niceness.
-- James Wood, How Fiction Works
Posted by Dr. Frank at July 26, 2009 05:58 PM | TrackBack

Just wondering where you come down on someone like Wood. Do you respect his criticism?

Posted by: Cpt. at August 15, 2009 01:30 AM
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