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Jim Crace Biography - Jim Crace Comments:

novels exploration fangled

I count myself to be a traditional, old-fangled novelist rather than a conventional writer or a new-fangled modernist. I am more interested in the fate of communities than the catharsis of individuals. I owe more to the oral traditions of storytelling (rhythmic prose, moral satire, naked invention) than to the idiomatic, ironic, realist social comedies which typify post-war British fiction. My books are not an exploration of self. They are not autobiographically based. I do not write from experience. I focus on subjects—usually political or sociological, usually concerning the conflict between the old and new ways of humankind—which interest me, which seem worthy of exploration but of which I have no personal expertise. (I am surprised but not saddened to note that my novels are less progressive and more pessimistic than I am myself.) I shroud the offputting solemnity of my themes in metaphorical narratives which tease and subvert and flirt with the reader and which regard lies to be more eloquent than facts. Thus far, my novels seem to reach-and-preach the same conclusion: that everything new worth having, in both the private and public universes, is paid for by the loss of something old worth keeping. Those who do not like my novels consider them to be overwrought, passionless, schematic, and unEnglish.

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