10.14.2005

Speaking of Tense!!

Miss Snark is reading Publishers Weekly while waiting for Killer Yapp to bring coffee.

In the "Deals" column comes this:

Reagan Arthur at Little,Brown bought world rights to THEN WE CAME TO THE END by Joshua Ferris from agent Julie Barer. Ferris is a recent grad of the MFA program at UC Irvine, where Geoffrey Wolff is already singing his praises. The novel, about a group of co-workers in a Chicago ad agency, is narrated in the first-person plural.

Holy moly. What will we think of next.

Reagan Arthur is a very very smart editor and Geoffrey Wolff is on the list of writers I’ll always read, so my guess is the book is probably pretty good. But..."we'll see"!

6 comments:

Anne said...

Don't forget Jeffrey Eugenides' VIRGIN SUICIDES, Kate Walbert's OUR KIND, Tova Mirvis' THE LADIES' AUXILIARY. All 1p plural. It's getting more common...expresses group identity well. Gimmicky but sometimes works.

I'm on the lookout for second person plural. As in "y'all." Haven't seen it yet.

Bunneh said...

Huh. Call me crazy, but whenever I hear things in first person plural, I think of the "Royal We" (made popular, I think by Queen Victoria?). But, hey, if it works for you, it works. (But I'll still wield my red pen against present-tense writing!)

*Bunneh, returning to the veldt and wondering how in the heck Miss Snark knew about the brown hair*

Bella Stander said...

Kate Walbert's OUR KIND was a marvelous & totally appropriate use of the first-person plural.

Mary Louisa said...

And don't forget the old freshman English warhorse, Faulkner's "A Rose for Emily."

jason evans said...

We'll probably pass. We don't get along so well as a group.

Bonnie, Of the Multitude of Snarklings said...

I've been following a sci fi series by Paul Melko about genetically-engineered humans living as a "pod," or a group meant to work and live out their lives together. If anyone could get away with the first person plural, it would be that crew, but Melko uses the first person singular for each member of the pod.

I agree with Anne: it sounds gimmicky. Kind of pretentious.