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This’ll never happen again

There’s a quite wonderful device Alan Moore employs in the last chapter of ‘Voice of the Fire’, by which he tells a first-person narrative without recourse to the voice of a first-person narrator – so according to Alan; “it’s a first-person narrative without the first person. I don’t use the word(s) I, me, my anywhere.” This is achieved with aplomb, and is genuinely unsettling. It also forms the basis for chapter 6 of my PhD. So, today’s sentence of the day is my footnote correcting Alan Moore. Which is something I never expected to do, ever.

Moore has conveniently overlooked the sentence “She tells me she’s been having dreams of dogs” on page 309 of the 1st paperback edition of “Voice of the Fire”. This minor error may have been corrected in later editions of the text. The sentence “She relates dreams of dogs” would serve the author’s purpose in its place.


5 comments for “This’ll never happen again”

  1. There should be no apostrophe in ‘in it’s place’. I know you didn’t mean it, the snake god put it there when you weren’t looking.

    Posted by Simon | August 22, 2006, 9:07 pm
  2. Grrrrrrrrrrrrr.
    Make sure you’re ready if you’re going to step into the meadow of the Dissertation Donkey.
    Dissertation Donkey angry.

    Posted by The Dissertation Donkey | August 23, 2006, 9:35 am
  3. corrected, with apologies to all donkeys reading this.

    Posted by tom | August 23, 2006, 10:08 am
  4. Now you’re probably gonna get hunted down by the Comics posse. A bunch of rabid Alan Moore fanboys with no other purpose in life except to zealously defend the name of their god.

    OTOH, a bunch of fat geeks using rolled up photocopies of Watchmen #1 as clubs (the real one is encased in plastic in their homes) might not be that threatening.

    Posted by baldur | August 23, 2006, 11:40 am
  5. [...] While this is going to understandably mean nothing to most of my readers, I am, well, a little taken aback at the news. Robbet-Grillet was probably one of the titans of the Modernist novel, and a forerunner of narrative devices we (or at least me) now take for granted are part of the toolkit. Obituary here, and seeing as he was part of my PhD (he got me out of a massive hole I’d written myself into toward the end of Chapter 11, for which I’ll forever be grateful, and surprised at the power of serendipity), I’ll offer this brief positioning statement from pages 228-9. Just to say though, at the risk of invoking the ire of the Alan Moore fans out there, Robbet-Grillet did that thing with first-person narrative Moore does at the end of Voice of the Fire. And he did it without the (intentional) mistake Moore gets away with.. [...]

    Posted by No more summers at Marienbad — other things Archive | February 19, 2008, 3:58 pm

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