[ilds] Historical fiction

Bruce Redwine bredwine1968 at earthlink.net
Wed Jul 11 15:13:46 PDT 2007

Ilyas, I assume no irony here.  A literary critic.  I don't see a minefield.  I've seen both approaches used on historical fiction, with both types of critics looking for different things, obviously.  E.g., Robert Harris's recent Imperium, which I haven't read, but have looked at reviews, largely positive, because the book is well done.  Seems to me here the objectives of the author have to be taken into account -- is he/she trying to be accurate?  To recreate a time?  Then the historian's views come into play, although not decisive by any means.  On the whole, however, I consider fiction fiction, and those standards should weigh most heavily.  Is War and Peace accurate historically?  Who really cares?  It's great literature.  On the other hand, a critic like Pamela Francis might say that it makes no difference, since everything is fiction anyway.


-----Original Message-----
>From: Ilyas Khan <ilyas.khan at crosby.com>
>Sent: Jul 11, 2007 1:55 PM
>To: "Bruce Redwine , ilds at lists.uvic.ca" <bredwine1968 at earthlink.net>, ilds at lists.uvic.ca
>Subject: Re: [ilds] Po-co/poco
>Bruce - thanks for the reminder about literary criticism and history
>requiring different approaches. Criticism of historical novels is a
>particularly dangerous minefield. Is it better to be a historian or a
>literary critic to review these works ?

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