Living by Fiction

  • Title: Living by Fiction
  • Author: Annie Dillard Gloria Adelson
  • ISBN: 9780060915445
  • Page: 213
  • Format: Paperback
  • Living by Fiction Living by Fiction is written for and dedicated to people who love literature Dealing with writers such as Nabokov Barth Coover Pynchon Borges Garc a M rquez Beckett and Calvino Annie Dillard s
    Living by Fiction is written for and dedicated to people who love literature Dealing with writers such as Nabokov, Barth, Coover, Pynchon, Borges, Garc a M rquez, Beckett, and Calvino, Annie Dillard shows why fiction matters and how it can reveal of the modern world and modern thinking than all the academic sciences combined Like Joyce Cary s Art and Reality, thisLiving by Fiction is written for and dedicated to people who love literature Dealing with writers such as Nabokov, Barth, Coover, Pynchon, Borges, Garc a M rquez, Beckett, and Calvino, Annie Dillard shows why fiction matters and how it can reveal of the modern world and modern thinking than all the academic sciences combined Like Joyce Cary s Art and Reality, this is a book by a writer on the issues raised by the art of literature Readers of Pilgrim at Tinker Creek and Holy the Firm will recognize Dillard s vivid writing, her humor, and the lively way in which she tackles the urgent questions of meaning in experience itself.

    • å Living by Fiction || Ç PDF Read by ✓ Annie Dillard Gloria Adelson
      213 Annie Dillard Gloria Adelson
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      Posted by:Annie Dillard Gloria Adelson
      Published :2019-04-13T19:29:59+00:00

    About Annie Dillard Gloria Adelson


    1. Annie Dillard born April 30, 1945 is an American author, best known for her narrative prose in both fiction and non fiction She has published works of poetry, essays, prose, and literary criticism, as well as two novels and one memoir Her 1974 work Pilgrim at Tinker Creek won the 1975 Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction Dillard taught for 21 years in the English department of Wesleyan University, in Middletown, Connecticut from


    363 Comments


    1. With her “Living by Fiction”, Annie Dillard seems to contradict Emile Cioran’s belief that building on the ideas/ creations of others is a form of intellectual parasitism, such an outstanding proof is this book that criticism can be art, that it can use literature as an inspirational source to its own glory, just like art uses world to the same purpose. In fact these are the two main themes of the essay: criticism versus art and art versus the world, both suggested by the inspired title. T [...]

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    2. I have to admit that when I picked this up I was expecting something like Anne Lamott's "Bird by Bird", a contemplation of the writing life. But this is actually a book of literary criticism, and, sadly, of the deadly kind.Not that it's not well-written. It's Annie Dillard; it's perfectly written. There's not a clunker of a sentence in the whole thing. And that sort of fits her theme: that the art of fiction is in the art, and not in the story.She spends the first half of the book describing mod [...]

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    3. Dillard demonstrates a real command of language in this work and a real facility with words, a kind of acoustic keenness that is truly rare. The one qualm that readers may have is that there is really no definite organization to the book or rather that she elects to use really slippery demarkations in terms of her subject. Even as she begins to outline these delineations she is deftly moving in and out of these lines, though these stray remarks are thoroughly enjoyable. Another awing fact is the [...]

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    4. When I found this book, I thought it might teach me how to better understand and appreciate fiction. It seemed like most of this esoteric work was going right over my head, especially when it felt as though Ms. Dillard's explanations were coming in for a soft, easy landing, only to suddenly accelerate back into the sky, leaving behind a fog of cute, mysterious prose and unfamiliar references. However, I'm now finding little wisps of thought from this lyrical meditation coalescing into bits of a [...]

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    5. I love Dillard as a writer. And I wanted to love this. If I were writing fiction more regularly, perhaps it would be different. But the truth is, it was a struggle for me, and while I've read many of the works she references, I haven't read enough of them recently enough to feel invested in the arguments she makes.As always, the prose is clean and clearbut I couldn't get myself invested in the arguments being made. [2 stars for Dillard's usual prose, clean and clear.]

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    6. A very lucid and powerful attempt to understand the fiction of the past century - "contemporary modernist" fiction as she calls it, as opposed to Post-modernist. In the meantime Dillard attempts to understand the fiction that preceded it and the visual arts the coevolved with it. I was so struck because she talks about all the things I'd been thinking, and says them so well. For some reason I had got the impression that Annie Dillard was a loosey goosey hippie Romantic, but here she's all about [...]

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    7. Not as beautifully written as the other work by Dillard I've read, and not much use as a "traditional" work of criticism - particularly now that many of the postmodern writers who are her main subject of analysis have faded in relevance - but an interesting think-piece for those who like their literary critics to be expressive writers as well. Dillard's main thesis - that fiction can interpret and provide perspectives on the world in ways that other disciplines cannot - is well explored, and tho [...]

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    8. Dillard views criticism, of which this book is an example, as the modern “focusing of the religious impulse.” The making and interpreting of art, she implies, may be our last clear purpose left here on Earth. At least she expresses the view that, of human intellectual activities, art still produces and retains holistic meaning, and she holds faith that we may discern it.Fiercely intellectual without being pedantic, Dillard also goofs around in her sidelong way and has her quirky fun that’s [...]

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    9. Before beginning find your favorite pen and notebook. Annie Dillard's look at the purpose and role of literature in our lives is replete with insights phrased with her usual felicity of tone and eloquence. Does literature, or even life itself, have meaning? Do contemporary modernist have more to offer than slick techniques? What of symbols?

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    10. I was surprised that I loved this book as much as I did. Annie Dillard has some fascinating ideas about literary theory and about art in general, and her prose makes this book very enjoyable to read.

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    11. Whatever this book is, it isn't what I expected. I was expecting a biased defense of modern and post-modern literature. This is instead a very balanced meditation on fiction and literary criticism among other things. Dillard manages to embrace both innovation and tradition and still call out the charlatan's who have given modern literature a bad name. I also enjoyed her bits of commentary on modern art. "The French Impressionist bedtime story (which implies that popular works are ipso facto bad) [...]

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    12. One is thankful, if one is thoughtful (as in fully thinking), to have an Annie Dillard writing in his or her lifetime because she penetrates well past the obvious and well-taught stuff of writing schools. There are so many notational gems in Living by Fiction that it would prove tedious to list any, because i'd want to list them all.She rides the subject of literature as one may on a teeter board, that plank set on a roller that keeps one pitched left or right at a moments notice. But her left i [...]

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    13. Dillard comments on the devices and conventions employed in the postmodern fiction of writers like John Fowles and Philip Roth. Her book is not a work of criticism or theory; rather it is an exploration of the function of fiction in contemporary individual experience. Thus, she does not analyze the narrative techniques and characters in the recent novels she discusses; instead, she discusses what we should bring to these books as readers, and what they give us in return. Really more of a persona [...]

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    14. Annie Dillard is a writer/intellectual who knows she's talking about some brainy stuff. Still, she manages to be funny and welcoming and heart-y, and I'd like to be around her while she talks about life and books and writing. I would especially like to hear her thoughts now, since this book is pretty dated (physically, too--my copy is actually three stacks of pages held together by glue that flakes off): it's kind of bizarre to read her reject the term "postmodernist" (guess she was wrong about [...]

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    15. This was definitely more on the Literary Criticism side of what I normally read, written for an audience that tends to just sit around around and read critically. Lots of big words and outside references to things that I had never even thought about reading. It stretched my thinking in that way, perhaps. The best chapter was the one which posited that Art is the best means for communicating Meaning of our existence. Dillard tackles some huge ideas in this book, and unfortunately, I think she chi [...]

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    16. Annie Dillard is a folksy postmodernist, like your grandma on the porch discussing Derrida. She explores some mighty big questions about life and fiction's relationship to the world, and deftly pushes through them. I argued with a lot of what she had to say, and agreed with just as much. There's a long section in the middle about critics and writing styles that I found dull and uninteresting, but I liked that she frequently compared literature to painting in order to parse the differences.

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    17. When I was a student at the University of Iowa, studying poetry writing in the Undergraduate Poetry Workshop, Marvin Bell read an excerpt from this book. The title of the piece he read was “Wish I Had Pie.” I was in stitches and instantly hooked on Annie Dillard. If you’re a writer, you will understand yourself and your craft in new light. If you’re not a writer, but curious about the process, this book will afford you a look behind the curtains.

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    18. “Language, like other cognitive structures, is useful for some task and worthless for others. I cannot tell you, because I do not know, what my language prevents my knowing. Language is itself like a work of art; it selects, abstracts, exaggerates, and orders. How then could we say that language encloses and signifies phenomena, when language is a fabricated grid someone stuck in a river?”From the “Revolution, No” chapter

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    19. This is the sort of book that needs to be reread and reread. Dillard writes about the function of writing in the world and vice versa with an agility that belies the difficulty of the ground she covers. I've discovered a slew of titles that I need to put on my reading list just so I can appreciate her references to them. Much of importance in this slender volume.

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    20. This was an interesting and difficult read (for me). The author mediates on literature and writing and in particular on fiction. Her essays are very smart and very thoughtful and give a lot to chew on. But it is not for the light of heart. It is a rich text…but it is one that will take some work to mine. It is worth it. I liked it and I’m very glad I read it.

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    21. Pot-smoking hippy wackadoo Annie Dillard, a patron saint of overwrought prose, takes a brief break from navel-staring to stare at her bookshelf and tell us all about what's there. To judge from her writing, she seems like she would be a trying person to actually talk to.The pressing question is: what shit-caked C.H.U.D. keeps publishing her books?!

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    22. Dillard's wondrous prose about (as the title implies) living with and loving fiction. if you were an English major, she will bring you back to all the magic and joy of literature while still keeping you grounded in critical theory. sure, it's a little 1982; but i really liked the '80s, and good thought never really goes out of date.

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    23. A meandering, philosophical journey through the trunks of Annie Dillard's deep mind. Perhaps less coherent than her other books, there are still some jaw-dropping, beautiful passages in here about the work and craft of writing well.

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    24. I happen to agree with Annie Dillard, who at the end of her wonderful little analysis if fiction, says, "Is the universe of matter significant? I am sorry; I do not know." Neither do I. I guess that's what makes these cognitive challenges so much fun.

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    25. This book is rich with ideas that cause one to want to stop and contemplate such as, "Even if we could depend on our senses, could we trust our brains?" Take this book to the beach or the mountains. Read it slowly. Think deeply. Savor what it offers you.

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    26. I generally like anything that flows from Dillard's pen. But not this one. It was difficult for me to follow her thinking, and while I do enjoy her personal essays, I can't enjoy her technical writing. I gave it a chance

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    27. This is sort of a tough slog until about two thirds of the way through when she really finds her stride. Basically two themes here, a defense of the viability of fiction if the 20th (21st now) century and an effort to reconcile post-modernism with more contextual readings of fiction.

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    28. There were some good insights in this book but the references were dated. Dillard uses as examples many books that I haven't read and that was frustrating. But I don't intend to find and read all of those books just so I can understand Dillard. So I gave up on this one.

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    29. A Post Modernist writing about Post Modernists, though I love how she gathers her ideas together every few paragraphs like tightening a string through loops in a bag.

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    30. If I write, once the words leave me, I cannot control the meaning assigned by the reader. If I read, only I have the responsibility to develop meaning. I am both the pottery and a potter.

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