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Amanda_R
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Registered: ‎09-25-2006
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Early Chapters Discussion Topic: The Narrative Style

[ Edited ]


Jiles was a poet before she was a novelist. Do you see this reflected in her narrative style?


So far, has there been a moment in the novel when you found yourself caught off-guard by a certain sentence structure or a word choice or phrase you found yourself thinking about later?




Reply to this message to discuss any of these topics. Or start your own new topic by clicking "New Message."


Note: This topic refers to events through Chapter Seven. Some readers of this thread may not have finished the book. If you are referring to events that occur after Chapter Seven please use "Spoiler Warning" in the subject line of your post. Thanks!




Message Edited by Amanda_R on 06-06-2007 10:44 AM

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Fozzie
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Re: Early Chapters Discussion Topic: The Narrative Style

Some of the descriptions that Paulette uses do remind me of poetry. Here are a couple of my favorites so far:

“They walked out into the immense flat stretch of the Permian Basin where it stretched without variation like a single note played on a wind instrument, on and on without end.” (pg. 19)

“The peanuts tumbled in the smoking water. They were the color of snuff and looked like eyes gone bad.” (pg.21)

“It fell on the needles and lined them with spines of white and built up on the wires of the fence lot, and burdened all the sounds of the town and the derricks with a deep, submissive hush. It was a swansdown welcome for the new year, a confetti and ticker tape parade.” (pg. 28)

“Since he had swum up out of the deep underwater world of H2S some kind of barrier had given way and he could think anything he wanted. The banisters on some internal stairs had broken with his weight.” (pg. 54)
Laura

Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.
jd
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jd
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Re: Early Chapters Discussion Topic: The Narrative Style

Speaking Texan is an art form - there is a southern drawl but it has a speed that is faster than the South. Texans are great story tellers and Jiles nails it. Her description of the area and the people are real. I actually spent time in Texas and her writing evokes many responses to my senses, = the smell of the air when lighting strikes and the retched heat with humidity that weighs more than imaginable. the sight of east Texas piney woods brought back great memories.
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bentley
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Re: Early Chapters Discussion Topic: The Narrative Style


Fozzie wrote:
Some of the descriptions that Paulette uses do remind me of poetry. Here are a couple of my favorites so far:

“They walked out into the immense flat stretch of the Permian Basin where it stretched without variation like a single note played on a wind instrument, on and on without end.” (pg. 19)

“The peanuts tumbled in the smoking water. They were the color of snuff and looked like eyes gone bad.” (pg.21)

“It fell on the needles and lined them with spines of white and built up on the wires of the fence lot, and burdened all the sounds of the town and the derricks with a deep, submissive hush. It was a swansdown welcome for the new year, a confetti and ticker tape parade.” (pg. 28)

“Since he had swum up out of the deep underwater world of H2S some kind of barrier had given way and he could think anything he wanted. The banisters on some internal stairs had broken with his weight.” (pg. 54)




I have to agree with Fozzie on this. Jiles uses a lot of metaphorical expressions, similes and her sentences have a certain cadence.

Some of the sentences that I liked so far were:

pg 1: The reins were telegraph lines through which he spoke to his horses in a silent code, and it seemed to Jeanine that her father's battered hands held great powers in charge.

pg 3: All round them the horizon shifted from one red stone layer to another and down these slopes spilled live oak and Spanish oak and mesquite, wild grape and persimmon. Alongside the road were things that people threw out of cars and wagons. A baby doll head lay under a dense blackbrush and seemed to watch as the hooves of the team went past. There were tin cans and mottled rags and lard pails and tiny squares of broken safety glass.

pg 5: They left behind a community where their family names were known and the graveyard under the cedars, whose stones were carved with those same names.

pg 6: The little girl was listening to a bird that sang some unheard melody from the branch of a white tree and it seemed to Jeanine that the girl was dangerously alone in an alien, watery forest."
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Fozzie
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Re: Early Chapters Discussion Topic: The Narrative Style-Things by the Side of the Road



bentley wrote:

pg 3: All round them the horizon shifted from one red stone layer to another and down these slopes spilled live oak and Spanish oak and mesquite, wild grape and persimmon. Alongside the road were things that people threw out of cars and wagons. A baby doll head lay under a dense blackbrush and seemed to watch as the hooves of the team went past. There were tin cans and mottled rags and lard pails and tiny squares of broken safety glass.




This description reminded me of description I read in another historical fiction book about the movement westward and all the discarded items by the side of the road. I wish I could look up which book it was, but my compter that has my list of books I have read is being repaired. Maybe I could check in a few days. Anyway, I can imagine how passing by all the things on the side of the road would be like viewing a museum exhibit, maybe one titled "What Not to Take on Westward Expansion Trip."
Laura

Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.
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