Writing Techniques in Alias Grace

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Modern and postmodern artists, including writers, have often used pastiche and collage, whereby the whole becomes greater than the parts. Take, for example, what James Dickey called the most important twentieth-century poem, The Wasteland (1922) by T. S. Eliot. It is a collage of voices that sometimes approaches nonsense, yet the overall effect is startling, memorable, and strikingly original. The painter Jackson Pollack created masterpieces out of chaotic lines and colors that occasionally seem too random or careless yet attach themselves to the mind as if they matched the synapses and pathways of the brain itself. Likewise, Atwood takes newspaper clippings, personal letters, official documents, literary quotations, and the widely varied voices of her characters (including different tenses in the narration) and puts them all together to form a tumbling river of a story, a hauntingly effective novel, a truly original creation, even though it was primarily fashioned from fact...

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This section contains 454 words
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Buy the Alias Grace Study Guide
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Alias Grace from Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.