Commentary: Remedy for brief courtesy spans: Serialized novels

May 4, 2015 - Kindle Unlimited

Posted: Sunday, May 3, 2015 7:00 pm

Commentary: Remedy for brief courtesy spans: Serialized novels

By Hillary Kelly
Special To The Washington Post

SantaFeNewMexican.com

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In 1847, an English cleaning lady was intensely vehement to learn that a child camp in her employer’s residence was “the son of a male that put together Dombey” — that is, a son of Charles Dickens. The lady could conjunction review nor write, though she lived above a tinge emporium where, on a initial Monday of each month, a village of friends would accumulate to review aloud a latest installment of Dombey and Son, that had begun serialization on Oct. 1, 1846. By that time, a monthly installments of Dickens’ novels — that started with The Pickwick Papers in 1836 — were such a tack of British enlightenment that an ignorant lady with no entrance to a tangible book knew a author’s work intimately.

More than 150 years later, a book attention is in a doldrums, nonetheless a novel shows few signs of digging into a past and resurrecting a techniques that gathering fans furious and juiced sales figures. The novel is now decidedly a singular object, a mass entity finished and changed as a whole. That’s not, of course, a bad thing, though it does emanate a separator to entrance that a book universe can’t seem to overcome. Meanwhile, consumers gladly cackle adult other media in segments — either it’s a Walking Dead episode, a array of Karl Ove Knausgaard’s travelogues or a public-radio uncover (it’s called Serial for a reason, people) — so there’s reason to trust they would do a same with fiction. What a novel needs again is tension. And a best source for that tragedy is serialization.

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