the thing I have learned (not discovered but learned) is that 3rd person is fundamentally a mediation. I went in resisting this with all my might. could I write in a way that felt direct in the 3rd person. I have never understood why 3rd person was associated with transparency when it is, after all, fundamentally, a mediation. So I tried like hell to minimize its discursively interpretive aspects and what happened was that I created a text that read autistically. So I’ve had to soften the relationship btwn reader and text via a narrator, and all my efforts have gone into trying to create an honest one who doesn’t pretend not to be there, but doesn’t want to be all ‘me me me’ about everything– a narrator who really does care about what they’re trying to give as in gift.

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2 Responses to 3rd

  1. Leni Z says:

    What do you mean by “a text that read autistically”? Clearly it’s negative for you, and I would be curious to hear why you chose “autistically” as the modifier…

  2. lucy says:

    Hey Leni! I actually used it, now that I think of it, in relation to this one time when someone told me that a first person narrator of mine (not in this book– in another book) came off as autistic– she meant it in a fuzzy way to mean (I think) clinically neurotic or something–ie a kind of criticism of the story that she wouldn’t admit to making– ie “autistic” in a way that I thought was dismissive of people like that and a response to encountering a idiosyncratic character that she didn’t like very much (sort of the way people say “surreal” when they mean “weird”). Anyhow I know that memory flickered when I wrote that. What I was trying to say here about that draft of the book is that it was so specific in its read of the world that it didn’t connect out. It was so absolutely a record of /my/ brainspace in isolation with the material that it was inaccessible to others in a way that totally confused me b/c it was utterly articulate to me.

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