Writing Techniques in House of Earth

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The author justifies her extreme detachment from her narrative by choosing for The Good Earth an epigraph from Proust about the musician Vinteuil's refusing to violate the integrity of his music by mixing his emotion with it. Similarly Buck refuses to interrupt her work to announce that she as author does not personally approve of what is happening. So devoid of subjectivity is her story that she sometimes takes her American audience by surprise when she describes events without passing judgment (e.g., when O-lan strangles her newborn daughter in a time of famine). Still what she achieves is a kind of exotic remoteness and this often adds just a trace of romanticism to her realism.

Buck's text is not marked with italics; she seldom uses a Chinese word or explains a Chinese concept. Exoticsounding translations do occur (as when the procuress tempts Wang Lung with "tiger...

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This section contains 482 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the House of Earth Short Guide
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House of Earth from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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