The blind men and the elephant, Chris Else

Refiguring Minds in Narrative Media
David Ciccoricco
University of Nebraska Press, $55.00,
ISBN 9780803248373

I earn a good part of my living by assessing manuscripts. For a fee, I read a text and write a report on it, which, I hope, will help the writer take it a step closer to publication. This is a fairly mundane job in the literary world, but it isn’t easy. The process has three stages. First, there is an intuitive reaction to the text, an aesthetic response, if you like. Then comes analysis to identify the nature and location of the problems. Finally, the problems need to be expressed in such a way that the writer can interpret, own and solve them. Without this last stage, the exercise is at best useless and at worst counter-productive.

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