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Creating wonder with voice March 7, 2006

Posted by sensawunda in Sensawunda 101.

An excerpt from a post by Loyd Boldman in the “diablog” at Devotion Media:

In Russell Hoban’s remarkable novel Riddley Walker, the title character introduces himself this way:

“On my naming day when I come 12 I gone front spear and kilt a wyld boar he parbley ben the las wyld pig on the Bundel Downs any how there hadn’t ben none for a long time befor him nor I aint looking to see none agen.?

Hoban’s hero is a wandering storyteller, a post-apocalyptic Don Quixote in a world that has mostly forgotten written language. This is a micron away from being a “stunt? voice; in the hands of a less talented writer, it’s a cheap gimmick. But Hoban makes it work, using it as a vehicle for subtlety, insight and expression, yielding amazing results and something more—a sense of wonder.



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