The Found Voice: Writers Beginnings

Hardcover | June 18, 2016

byDenis Sampson

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The Found Voice: Writers' Beginnings uses the means of literary biography and criticism to do something rarely attempted - to understand how a key creative period establishes the authoritative voice of a unique artist. The essays which explore this hidden process of the writer writing focuson some of the major writers of recent times, V.S. Naipaul, J.M. Coetzee, Alice Munro, William Trevor, and Mavis Gallant. The focus of investigation is a single work by each author, and many of them identify the book in which this turning point was reached. The writers have a somewhat different sense of what the voice is, "a true voice", "the voice in the mind", "the writing voice", etc., yet all of them accept the phrase "finding a voice" as a decisive and necessary process towards a unique style and vision, their raison d'etre as artists. Theseessays allow each one to define his or her sense of the process of writing, and their style is exploratory. Nevertheless, certain patterns emerge, of migration and cultural displacement, of linguistic self-consciousness, of memory and a reimagining of the first home, of absorbing and rejectingmentors and models. Crucially, the essays rely not just on what led up to the moment of creation but on a sense of the career that emerged from it. Most of the writers have written retrospectively in memoirs, interviews or essays about the pivotal work and its foundational significance. They are thebest witnesses to the process, although their silence or their commentary is understood in terms of the many strands of the narrative that each essay presents.

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The Found Voice: Writers' Beginnings uses the means of literary biography and criticism to do something rarely attempted - to understand how a key creative period establishes the authoritative voice of a unique artist. The essays which explore this hidden process of the writer writing focuson some of the major writers of recent times,...

Denis Sampson has published widely on Irish Literature, beginning with the highly esteemed Outstaring Nature's Eye: The Fiction of John McGahern. His interest in McGahern's work led to many subsequent articles and reviews and culminated in Young John McGahern: Becoming a Novelist, a study of a decisive decade in the novelist's life. Be...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:192 pages, 8.5 × 5.31 × 0.98 inPublished:June 18, 2016Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198752997

ISBN - 13:9780198752998

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Table of Contents

Prologue: The Writing Voice1. V. S. Naipaul's Miguel Street: The 'first true book'2. Alice Munro's Dance of the Happy Shades: The Personal Voice3. William Trevor's Mrs Eckdorf in O'Neill's Hotel: The Lonely Voice4. Mavis Gallant's Green Water, Green Sky: 'authentic hallucinations'5. J. M. Coetzee's Dusklands: 'the voice of the doubting self'Epilogue: Writer as Writer