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Larry (Alfred) Woiwode Biography - Larry Woiwode Comments:

prose language book character

(1981) I believe that prose should be set down so that the readers sees through it to the book's essential action: a fireplace screen behind which the blaze burns, as I've expressed it elsewhere. Yet I work in my books to make the prose do as much as it is able, in realms of rhythm, imagery, and underlying sound. If this seems a paradox, it perhaps is; it sometimes feels so as I work. But I believe that our language, and its heritage, is too rich to be relegated to the utilitarian. Besides trying to keep up on contemporaries and present trends, I like to read in the century of our language's flowering, in the Elizabethans and metaphysical poets, for instance, and all of the early novelists and novels, such as Pilgrim's Progress. Its structure is still valid and its language full of sparks.

In my books I try to convey the contours and textures of life as it's lived. Each book is a separate entity with its special demands, since each is lived by a different character, or series of them. The rhythm of every sentence of the six-hundred-and-some pages of Beyond the Bedroom Wall is modulated to fit the voice that speaks it. Or there was a conscious attempt to make this so. What I want to do in my fiction, with the help of the prose I work at, is to keep all of the reader's senses informed on every moment that he lives within a certain character's skin. This world we breathe. I expect a reader to emerge from my work affected, if not with a change of heart.

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