Friday, October 08, 2004

Literary developments

Looking at the Worldview Fiction contest finalists, I was struck by one literary question: What is it with the first person? Of the six stories posted so far, five are in the first person, and several are also written in the present tense. Is the third person past tense now passé?

For some of the stories, it makes some sense, but this one (one of the better ones, IMHO), for example, would lose nothing if you just went through and changed the pronouns and verb tenses.

Maybe it's part of the narcissism of modern society, or it's a peculiarly Christian phenomenon stemming from the concept of giving a testimony. Or maybe it just seems easier and is common in amateurs.

It reminds me of the way in The Moffats the children would race home from the library and quickly peek in their new acquisitions to see which books were "I" books. Those were then put to the bottom of the pile to read, because although a few favorites had been found that way, in general it was a sign to them of a book that was not going to be as good.

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