[ilds] Modern Fiction, Durrell and the Dark Labyrinth

Denise Tart & David Green dtart at bigpond.net.au
Tue May 24 03:34:39 PDT 2011


The recent discussions regarding Dark Labyrinth has elicited the following, adapted from my notes on teaching modern fiction

Two strands rise from the Mythic (symbolic) mode vs. the Realist anecdotal mode. The two strands might also be contrasted as Realism (Physical) vs. Psychological Realism (internal). Realism and Naturalism evoke an external world whereas the Psychological Realism evokes an inner world of consciousness.

The modern story of Psychological Realism wishes to subvert orderly plot development or an artificial closure or conclusion. the story may appear to be told casually by an unreliable narrator, focuses on seemingly ordinary incidents, projecting them with immediacy and telling details as the subjective experience is filtered through a mediating consciousness. This is the essence of Psychological Realism. There may be a sense of a slice of life, an anti climax, an insight, but not an heroic stand or change in character. Narrative suspense exists, but is manipulated to lead to an anti-climax or no climax at all.

Such an approach can lead to stories being highly compresses and the real tale may even be suppressed beneath the surface. the teller may ironically misinterpret their experience and miss the point whereas the reader sees it.

I could not but be struck by how well applies to LGD in general and the Dark Labyrinth in particular.

David

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