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Links on Mantel

The historian Bettany Hughes on Bring Up the Bodies for The Telegraph. (See especially the last two paragraphs).

Interview with Mantel at NPR (audio). Mentions the upcoming third volume of the trilogy.

The Holbein portrait of Cromwell at the Frick.

James Wood on the "plausibly hypothetical," "novelistic intelligence," and free indirect discourse, for The New Yorker, discussing Mantel's work.

An overview of Free Indirect Discourse by Jon Gingerich. Last paragraph acknowledges its potential problematic effect on readers.

On Flaubert and free indirect discourse from The Modernism Lab at Yale.

Allan Massie on reimagining history, discussing Mantel for The Telegraph, among others:

Alternatively you may take your hero, your historical character, and write of him in the third person, while granting yourself the freedom to go into his head, employing free indirect style, to allow the reader to share his thoughts and see things from his point of view. This is the method employed by Hilary Mantel in her two Man Booker-winning Thomas Cromwell novels. It is very effective as she does it, because she disciplines herself, restricts her portrayal of other characters by letting us know them almost exclusively as they are seen by Cromwell and known to him.

Use of free indirect style, as Mantel employs it, achieves a wonderful immediacy and authority. One may think that she is too kind to Cromwell, and that the real historical Cromwell was a much nastier piece of work; yet this is permissible because she is persuasively giving us Cromwell as we may suppose he appeared to himself.


Notions of wholeness

Consider these two reviews, which implicate notions of "wholeness," for our discussion tomorrow:

NY Times - Kakutani:

"Alice Munro, one of the foremost short-story writers of her generation, creates tales that have the scope and amplitude of novels: whole lives are condensed into a handful of pages . . . ."

The Guardian - Doughty

"Each of the 14 stories in this collection is like a novel-in-miniature, concerned primarily with the telling of the tale rather than rhetorical flourishes."