AMF Question #20 ~ Through the Eyes or Ears?

by Ernest Hemingway

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DeppInTheHeartOfTexas
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Re: AMF Question #20 ~ Through the Eyes or Ears?

Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Thu Nov 06, 2008 9:43 pm

I've been pondering this one. I do believe we each have a different learning style. If I write something down I can usually remember it better than if I just hear it.

As to authors, I think some are so good at making you hear their work and their characters and others are more storytellers if that makes sense? Not just the author's voice but the actual voice of the different characters. In a wonderful novel you get both. With AMF I mostly heard Hem's voice but say for example...Switters in FIHFHC I heard a voice for him. Okay...I hear voices.
:lol:
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Re: AMF Question #20 ~ Through the Eyes or Ears?

Unread postby nebraska » Thu Nov 06, 2008 11:32 pm

DeppInTheHeartOfTexas wrote:I've been pondering this one. I do believe we each have a different learning style. If I write something down I can usually remember it better than if I just hear it.

As to authors, I think some are so good at making you hear their work and their characters and others are more storytellers if that makes sense? Not just the author's voice but the actual voice of the different characters. In a wonderful novel you get both. With AMF I mostly heard Hem's voice but say for example...Switters in FIHFHC I heard a voice for him. Okay...I hear voices.
:lol:



But since this is Hem's memory of his experience, even he admits that it may be less than absolute truth, shouldn't it be only his voice that we hear? :-?

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Re: AMF Question #20 ~ Through the Eyes or Ears?

Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Fri Nov 07, 2008 8:54 am

I agree, nebraska. In the case of a memoir such as this it makes perfect sense.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming -

Wow! What a ride!

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Re: AMF Question #20 ~ Through the Eyes or Ears?

Unread postby Buster » Fri Nov 07, 2008 10:45 am

nebraska wrote:
But since this is Hem's memory of his experience, even he admits that it may be less than absolute truth, shouldn't it be only his voice that we hear?


I'd have to disagree. While a writer's depiction is going to be highly colored by his interpretation of another person, that doesn't have to mean only one voice is heard.
We may be back to the eye/ear concept. Faulkner, in my opinion, wrote by ear -his characters had individual voices. Think of Edgar Lee Master's "Spoon River Anthology", or Beckett's "Waiting for Godot". The nuances of the characters' speech define them. Dialog can't be transposed, because each speaker is an individual.
It almost seemed as if Hemingway couldn't see his friends except as they related to him. Real dialogue occurs when two different minds, two divergent ways of seeing things, interact. Anything else is essentially a monologue.

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Re: AMF Question #20 ~ Through the Eyes or Ears?

Unread postby Liz » Fri Nov 07, 2008 1:11 pm

I agree with all three of you. We hear Hem's voice based on what Nebraska says, but it is only his voice. He is painting a picture for us of his view of things. And that is also why Leslie A. Fiedler says that he learned to write with the eye, not the ear and why he said himself that he never listens to anybody. So he is, in fact, giving his version or vision of the events.

I thought of another author who writes with the ear….Barbara Kingsolver. In The Poisonwood Bible, each chapter is the voice of a different daughter—there are 4 daughters, I believe. And they are quite distinctive. Nick Hornby did the same in A Long Way Down. But back to Kingsolver—she was also excellent at writing with the eye because I felt I could see Arizona in her descriptions in The Bean Trees. Amy Tan is also one who can write with the ear because I could actually hear her characters talking in my head in The Hundred Secret Senses.
You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.


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