Christa Wolf Writing Styles in Exchanging Glances

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The narrative technique that Wolf uses in "Exchanging Glances" is called meta-narration. Through this literary device, the narrator both tells the story and also comments on how she tells the story. Critic Margit Resch writes that Wolf is "unusually self-conscious, even for a writer," and this tendency toward self-reflection emerges in her fiction. Early in the story, she tells readers that the details about her grandmother's sweater and button-up boots are memories from "that April day I have chosen to recall here." But memory is imperfect, and the writer's task, Wolf suggests, is to subject the process of recollection to an ongoing critique. Wolf's position, according to Resch, is that "literature should articulate the author's experience as truthfully and precisely as possible." In her fiction, Wolf relies on her memory "to retrieve stories, characters, historical context, physical setting, and language." But her use of meta-narration takes her beyond...

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This section contains 164 words
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Buy the Exchanging Glances Study Guide
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Exchanging Glances from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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