Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Splash du Jour: Wednesday

I think of novels in architectural terms. You have to enter at the gate, and this gate must be constructed in such a way that the reader has immediate confidence in the strength of the building.
-- Ian McEwan --

Have a great Wednesday!


Jeane said...

O yes. The opening sentence (or several pages as it may be) says so much to me about a book- often whether I will continue reading or not. Great quote!

Arukiyomi said...

Absolutely. And McEwan is one of the best in the contemporary business of constructing said entrances. However, I usually find with McEwan that you'll walk through the grand entrance into an equally impressive hallway which leads to an outdated kitchen and finally a tacked on outhouse overlooking an overgrown garden with a dead pigeon.

As someone who's studied architecture, I know how important it is to carry that level of creative design through into every element of the building. I'm hoping McEwan can pull this off more in future writing.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if Arukiyomi could give any "concrete structure" to support his statements about Mr. McEwan's writing.

The metaphor is. . . colorful. . . but I really don't know what he is talking about. I am quite taken by the artfulness of nearly everything I have read by McEwan.
I was first blown away by Atonement, whose "structure" is so intricately built that I returned many times to the novel to re-examine how he pulled it off. The way he dovetails subplots...and freely uses the elements of time and place in a book is nothing short of brilliant, in my estimation. It all works together...and follows an intro that has always given me a great platform on which to build the rest of the book.

But that's just me. So, as a great fan of McEwan's art, I am intrigued to find out what Arukiyomi means by his metaphor of outdated and tacked on structures strewn with carrion.

Are we talking about plot structure here? Or theme? Character development? Parallel subplots? Language? Credibility?


kingmonkey said...

Sometimes I wish I'd pay more attention to this metaphor. Have you ever rea a novel all the way through and then realized you wised you'd just stoped after that first sentence?