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Open and self-enclosed novels




Allan Massie in the Spectator draws a distinction between open and self-enclosed novels in a short but succinct piece.

By the self-enclosed novel, I mean one which makes no reference — or almost no reference — to anything beyond itself. It belongs to its age of course, but it does not appear to be set in time. Time naturally passes, as it must in a narrative, but there is no suggestion that events in the world of fact beyond the novel might impinge on its characters, influence their behaviour, or affect the course of their lives. The doors of the novel are closed against the winds of the world.




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April 22, 2008 - Posted by | Novel |

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