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Showcase: DailyLit

Stephanie at So many Books has been using DailyLit, which I only heard of through her. Several of her readers say they prefer a book in the hand, mostly because the instalment was too short: they just couldn’t wait!

I decided to go for Anna Karenina. But when the confirmatory email came through, I got the option to order the first episode straight away, which I felt compelled to do. Though the intro to AK is so often quoted

Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way

I forgot how funny the first few paragraphs were.

Experiencing such a small dose of Tolstoy it is obviously not going to suit many ardent readers. But there is something to be said for having to wait. Let the small, enjoyable dollop stew for 24 hours. Build up the anticipation for the next part. Spend some time reading around the book and author while waiting. In any case you read so much about so many things, the next episode will be there before you know it. (Actually, in advanced settings you can chose from three size settings to get more per email or even get the next episode straight away…). Let’s face it, this is for people who are meant to be working, trawling through the emails first thing in the morning.

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For an inexperienced writer puzzling over which narrative voice to use, the first part of Anna Karenina could be as a reminder to how an intimate tone can created from the limited omniscient point of view. No need to be Tolstoy to see setting off in the first person can end up with too much of the author in the narrator.

I mentioned alter ego in the last post. There has been a study of avatars and their authors in gaming, called Alter Ego, which may have something to offer to the perennial questions about the author insinuating himself/herself in his/her own fiction.

Here are two over-views of Philip Roth’s oeuvre from on alter ego {1} {2}.

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November 6, 2007 Posted by | alter ego, fiction, First lines, literary persona, Literature, narrative style, Novel, Novelist, Openings, Writing | , , | 3 Comments

Openings


Compiled by Philip Norman, novelist and journalist

 

THE BEST

“It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen….”

1984, George Orwell

“It was the afternoon of my 81st. birthday, and I was in bed with my catamite when Ali announced that the archbishop had come to see me.”

Earthly Powers, Anthony Burgess

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times….”

A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens

“It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man, in possession of a large fortune, must be in want of a wife.”

Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austin

“Call me Ishmael…”

Moby Dick, Herman Melville

“The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there…”

The Go-Between, L P Hartley

“Scarlett o’Hara was not beautiful, but men seldom realised it when caught by her charm as the Tarlaton twins were….”

Gone with the Wind Who wrote that?


THE WORST

“It was a feature peculiar to the colonial wars of North America, that the toils and dangers of the wilderness were to be encountered before the adverse hosts could meet.”

The Last of the Mohicans, Fenomore Cooper

“By the end of the alley the fine hairs in my nostrils were starting to twitch.”

Shadows in Bronze, Lindsey Davis

“It was a queer, sultry summer, the summer they eleoctrocuted the Rosenbergs, and I didn’t
even know what I was doing in New York.”

The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath

” 124 was spiteful.”

Beloved, Toni Morrison




Philip Norman journalist and novelist who in 1968 was assigned to cover the Beatles’ own business utopia, Apple Corps, from the inside. He is the author of Rave On: The Biography of Buddy Holly and many other books.



October 22, 2007 Posted by | fiction, First lines, Novel, Novelist, Openings | , , | Leave a comment