"It's written that way"

Britta Koch bkoch at rz.uni-osnabrueck.de
Sun Jul 9 10:11:04 EDT 2000


Mary recently touched on that topic, and she mentioned that few people
ever think about it. I think that may not be so with fantasy books, but
more with books that are set in the present - it just seems so like
real life, but isn't!

I first though about it when reading "Homo Faber" by Max Frisch at
school - it's a novel that plays with whether there's fate or not - and
I decided that I don't belive in fate, but that of course in this book
you had to - it was written that way. Since then, I've been thinking
about that a little - that you can have fate in books, and so on.

In the course of a seminar on Jane Austen's books, where we read all
but "Northanger Abbey", I noticed that when you read so much Austen in
one go, you can nearly lose hope in humanity! There's at most 4 clever,
good people, and all the rest are foolish, stupid, mean, are whatever.
And Austen's portraying them in her unique way makes them seem even
worse! I was thinking "I hope I'm not one of the stupid/foolish
/whatever ones...", but then again, it's written that way! There are
more "good" people than in those books, and even though there are more
than enough of the "bad" ones, the qualities of people are more mixed
in real life.

But you really have to think about the fact that author's make the fate
for their characters, or else you forget it.

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