Novel written in a series of letters

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novel written in a series of letters

Popular Epistolary Novels Books

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HOW TO WRITE A (FANTASY) SERIES: WHAT I'VE LEARNED

We like to think it was the joint folly of the writing process – a kind of writes a series of letters to the police, her friends and parents and to God.
Mary Ann Shaffer

Epistolary novel

Epistolary novel , a novel told through the medium of letters written by one or more of the characters. Also, the presentation of events from several points of view lends the story dimension and verisimilitude. Though the method was most often a vehicle for sentimental novels, it was not limited to them. The letter novel of Pierre Choderlos de Laclos , Les Liaisons dangereuses ; Dangerous Acquaintances , is a work of penetrating and realistic psychology. Some disadvantages of the form were apparent from the outset. From on, the popularity of the form declined, though novels combining letters with journals and narrative were still common. Epistolary novel.

An epistolary novel is a novel written as a series of documents. The usual form is letters , although diary entries , newspaper clippings and other documents are sometimes used. Recently, electronic "documents" such as recordings and radio, blogs , and e-mails have also come into use.
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Examples of Epistolary in Literature

If I begin reading a novel and the first thing I come across is a salutation, I immediately have to figure out: who wrote the letter? To whom are they writing? What is their relationship? Moreover, the epistolary novel is commonly defined as a novel made of letters, but it can include any kind of documented communication pertaining to the characters. Technically , there are only three types of epistolary novels—mono-, dia-, and polylogic, i. One may as well begin with the classic example of the form.

There is something pleasantly, innocently voyeuristic about reading an epistolary novel. They give you the feeling of stumbling on a box of letters left in an attic, but there are no consequences or hurt feelings if you read them. Actually, the author prefers that you read them. Epistolary novels have been around almost as long as the novel itself, with the first recorded, Love-Letters between a Nobleman and His Sister , appearing only 80 years after Don Quixote. They are ideal vehicles for telling coming-of-age stories, because the protagonists are allowed to work out their growing up years without outside input, and that gives us marvelous diaries like I Capture the Castle and Harriet the Spy. I identified so strongly with the main character in I Capture the Castle that the notes I made on my copy embarrass me to this day.

In the current world of electronic communication, epistolary looks more like an online weapons outlet than its much tamer true self. Then again, poisoned letters are at the heart of many great works of literature, and letters in general have had the power to upset, alter and even ruin lives, the embodiment of the idea that the pen is mightier than the sword. For the most part, however, the influence of epistolary novels is purely literary. For me there are two added elements that made the style irresistible in the writing of my most recent novel, The Parting Gift : first, there is a stylistic difference between the way we humans narrate a story and the way we write that same story, using turns of phrase we would not use in speech. But even more important and more attractive is the manipulation involved in letter-writing, the filtering of events for another reader or readers that naturally takes place. Expressed otherwise, it is the dichotomy between how a person perceives herself, what she aims to project to the world, and what the rest of us see: the style of her writing, what she chooses to tell or leave out, the tone. There may be one additional attraction for readers of epistolary novels: while many novels offer a kind of voyeurism, epistolary novels heighten the pleasure of being inside the secret.

4 thoughts on “Popular Epistolary Novels Books

  1. An epistolary novel is a novel written as a series of documents. The usual form is letters, although diary entries, newspaper clippings and other documents are.

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