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Freyda



Joined: 04 Jan 2009
Posts: 425



PostPosted: Sun Jan 30, 2011 6:45 pm    Post subject: Faulks on Fiction  Reply with quote

There is to be a BBC TV series called "Faulks on Fiction" starting this week. Accompanied by a book, of course!

I was interested to  hear Mariella Frostrup give Faulks quite a tight interview on the Radio 4 'Book Programme' this afternoon, taking him to task for his very masculine take on British fiction, or the fictional characters he has chosen to look at. He seems to be "doing" English fiction by looking at key character types rather than key novels (or both, perhaps) ...I missed the beginning of the programme. I will be interested to see what he covers and how he presents. I do find him rather too "English public schoolboy" of a certain era in his outlook for my taste but anything about books on TV has to be a plus.


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TheRejectAmidHair



Joined: 19 Nov 2008
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Location: Staines, Middlesex

PostPosted: Sun Jan 30, 2011 9:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for that, Freyda - I'll give that a look.

I don't know what this series will belike, or, indeed, what Mariella Fostrup was quizzing him on, but I di find it hard to see how one can cast even the most cursory glance on classic English fiction and neglect women writers. Even if we were to focus on key character types, strong characters such as Emma Woodhouse, Fanny Price, Jane Eyre and Dorothea Brooke  - all female characters created by female writers - suggest themselves rather obviously. But let's not pre-judge: I look forward to seeing these programmes.



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Ann



Joined: 21 Nov 2008
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Location: Worcestershire

PostPosted: Mon Jan 31, 2011 3:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes I saw it was on on Saturday and hope to be able to view it. As you say, Freda, it is positive to have a book programme that is being given quite a high profile.


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Green Jay



Joined: 13 Jan 2009
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Location: West Sussex

PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2011 7:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Will try and catch this, probably have to get it on iPlayer.

I saw a review of the book a couple of weeks back. I think there was again some reference to the slight blokiness of Faulks' world view. The reviewer was a woman. Sometimes - even in this day and age - I read an article which is talking from the POV of "we" (which I assume is all the newspaper's or magazine's likely readers) when suddenly the author says something that makes me realise the "we" clearly refers in his mind to "we males" which always hits me with a bit of a shock. Like being back in the 1970s!  Smile Perhaps that is how Faulks sets out his argument. Perhaps female columnists and article writers do the same in reverse to male readers, I wouldn't pick this up so readily.


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Evie
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Joined: 24 Oct 2008
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Location: Kenilworth, Warwickshire, UK

PostPosted: Sun Feb 06, 2011 1:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I enjoyed this - it has its faults (not least the intrusive music, a common fault in any TV programme these days, and the overuse of televised adaptations and, even worse, gimmicky things like Faulks walking barefoot on a tropical beach to illustrate Robinson Crusoe), but there is lots that was good.  Not least giving a reasonable amount of time to some classic novels and showing a sense of development from Defoe to Amis, via the other books discussed.  Some of the comment was facile (one starry-eyed female commentator springs to mind, don't know who she was), and sometimes things needed to be sharper - eg seeing Robinson Crusoe as a metaphor for evolution, without making clear the historical context and chronology of such ideas.

But overall an enjoyable hour, inevitably begging more questions than it answered (but any good programme should do that), and it's great to have a serious book programme on a Saturday night for four weeks.  As I say, it isn't perfect, but I will definitely be watching again.


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Green Jay



Joined: 13 Jan 2009
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Location: West Sussex

PostPosted: Sun Feb 06, 2011 3:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the comments, Evie.  I haven't caught up with the programme yet, but in print Faulks has raised the topic of fiction becoming much more autobiographical in the last 30 years or so, and finding himself asked about his First World War experiences when he is talking to book groups about Birdsong! The assumption being that no one can write fiction that they have simply researched and/or made up. He's also concerned about the effects of the rise and rise of autobiography, especially misery memoirs. I must say I agree on both counts. I'm all for 'making it up', where an author looks into a situation or dilemma that fascinates them but hasn't necessarily happened to them, and I am rather reluctant to read novels where the author's own real-life, usually troubled, experience is the main theme.


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TheRejectAmidHair



Joined: 19 Nov 2008
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 06, 2011 3:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Green Jay wrote:
I'm all for 'making it up', where an author looks into a situation or dilemma that fascinates them but hasn't necessarily happened to them, and I am rather reluctant to read novels where the author's own real-life, usually troubled, experience is the main theme.


I agree fully. Surely one of the main reasons why we enjoy good fiction is that the author is good at making things up! Why deny what is possibly the most important attribute that an author of fiction can have?



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county_lady



Joined: 21 Nov 2008
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Location: N Worcs.

PostPosted: Sun Feb 06, 2011 3:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We watched this last night and I enjoyed it, especially the chronology idea, following the developement of heroes from the 18C to now.
I'm also pleased that Faulkes' dicussions were with other authors but I do think the progamme will prompt more DVD sales than books.


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Castorboy



Joined: 22 Nov 2008
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Location: Castor Bay Auckland NZ

PostPosted: Sun Feb 06, 2011 8:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

TheRejectAmidHair wrote:
Surely one of the main reasons why we enjoy good fiction is that the author is good at making things up! Why deny what is possibly the most important attribute that an author of fiction can have?

The crime writer Peter Robinson agrees. In his latest book he says he likes to avoid the obvious and prefers to put an unusual twist on something. He believes writers thrive much better on doubt and uncertainty than on facts and self-evident truths.


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MikeAlx



Joined: 17 Nov 2008
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Location: Seaford, East Sussex

PostPosted: Sun Feb 06, 2011 9:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmmm, I think most of my favourite novels - and probably most of the 'great' novels of the 20th century - have a very strong autobiographical element. I think it's the degree to which this is transformed beyond 'mere' autobiography that really matters.




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