I’ve seen some comments around the blogosphere from people who say they categorically dislike first-person narration. I find this puzzling, and a bit ironic considering how deeply this form is rooted in the history of fiction; many early novels were written in the first person as “letters” or “memoirs” so the authors could present them as if they were real documents, to make them more convincing.
It would be strange indeed if we eschewed the word “I” in all our personal correspondence and other writings. Why ban it from fiction?
I am obviously not a person who dislikes such books, because cutting them out would eliminate many of my favorites of all time:
- Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis
- Beauty by Robin McKinley
- The Spellcoats by Diana Wynne Jones
- Fifth Business by Robertson Davies
- Right Ho, Jeeves by P.G. Wodehouse
- Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
- Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
- The King Must Die by Mary Renault
- I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith
I simply could not imagine my reading life without these and many other first-person narratives. Could you?
Are you a person who doesn’t like this kind of book? Or can you understand why some people don’t? Please explain, because I am baffled.