Comments on

A Novel Idea

Original entry posted: Fri Nov 4 21:14:47 2005

Dan. @ Fri Nov 4 15:29:32 2005 EST

If done well, gimmicks (pictures, red editing marks and the like) can add a layer of depth to the reading. The idea is to make it more engaging and interactive.

Where I think you and I agree is that gimmicks shouldn't cover up bad writing. Putting bells and whistles on the page shouldn't serve as a distraction from poorly constructed text.

In the Foer book, I don't think it really added a whole lot. But I did enjoy skipping the picture pages so I'd be done with it sooner.

Thomas @ Fri Nov 4 15:54:39 2005 EST

Is that THE Dan? Awesome.

I'm sure we'll have this conversation next month, but nevertheless:

It's not really interaction, though, is it? It's adding another layer on top of the text, but it's not like the reader is actually helping to determine the path of the plot or anything along those lines. Is it more engaging? Hey, could be. But it tossed me out of the text more than it drew me in.

I know it's a cliche, but we're constantly told to show and not tell. Literary fiction's love of gimmickry seems to be too much telling, and not enough transparently showing.

In the end, it's a matter of taste. I told Belle last week that I don't know if I'm an appropriate choice for this group--I don't really want to be a jerk about it, but the collective tastes are going to collide a lot.

pseudonymous @ Fri Nov 4 16:14:47 2005 EST

The Coterie of Frustrated Intellectuals...

You know, that's a great name for the group.

Thomas @ Fri Nov 4 16:24:50 2005 EST

You can have it royalty free for a little while, if you want. I'm feeling saucy.

...and guilty over skipping this week, of course.

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