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text 2019-03-18 18:46
Reading progress update: I've read 20%.
History of Tom Jones, a Foundling - Henry Fielding

The past few weeks I haven't had much time for reading, but I manage to sneak in a few minutes here and there. I've made it to 20%, and still enjoying this tremendously.

 

I realized, however, that I'm not really reading it.  I'm listening to Henry Fielding telling the story, reading it aloud as it were to his eager listeners.  I'm not sure whose voice he has -- perhaps Patrick Stewart or John Rhys Davies -- but I hear every word, with all the extra commas for dramatic effect, with all the non-quotations inside quotation marks, as though he started to tell me what she/he said and then actually quoted them.

 

This is not a book that should be read by anyone learning how to write a novel.  It is definitely a book to read by everyone learning how to tell a story.

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text 2019-02-27 16:54
Reading progress update: I've read 15%.
History of Tom Jones, a Foundling - Henry Fielding

As I mentioned on a previous update, author Fielding blatantly breaks the fourth wall throughout, a literary device I'm not sure would work today, but it definitely illustrates how this technique was employed in this developmental stage of the novel as an art form.

 

Fielding is not a character in the story in the same way Herman Melville's Ishmael is a character in Moby Dick.  Fielding remains the author, yet he intrudes frequently -- and amusingly -- acknowledging his presence outside the story and comparing himself to other authors.  It's really quite stunning.

 

 

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text 2019-02-24 21:54
Reading progress update: I've read 10%.
History of Tom Jones, a Foundling - Henry Fielding

Fielding utterly obliterates the fourth wall, addresses the reader directly and explains why he's writing the way he's writing.  I doubt this would work today as well as it did in 1749.

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text 2019-02-23 04:59
Reading progress update: I've read 7%.
History of Tom Jones, a Foundling - Henry Fielding

I'm enjoying a leisurely reread, after many, many years, of this classic from 1749.

 

The Wikipedia entry even gives me the word count!  I'm way behind on my goal of ten million words for the year, but this will add exactly 346,747 to my tally.

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text 2019-02-18 03:54
Tom Jones -- Reading progress update: I've read 3%.
History of Tom Jones, a Foundling - Henry Fielding

This is a re-read, though it's been a long time since I first read it.  So I'm just starting with the Kindle edition, to be read a bit here and there usually at night before turning the lights out.

 

More observations as I go along.

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