WRITING: More thoughts on audience

To expand a bit on the notion brought up in the class notes, I would think that there is a balance–not a compromise–that a writer may wish to strive to achieve in his writing, and that is one that is best exemplified by Carver’s Cathedral.  There is a simple story told about a man whose outlook is changed by his guest.  Powerful, and plenty fulfilling, complete with conflicts, plot structure, climax and resolution.  Then there is the nuance within the narrative that both amend and confirm the vision of the characters.  Several readings past the first, the story becomes richer.

It’s not then a case of targeting writing to a specific reader type, but attempting to provide an enjoyable experience for as diverse a group of readers as possible.  And it may be considered not the reader as an individual ‘type’ but rather the reader as he chooses to read a particular story in a particular time (meaning, for entertainment/escapism value or for deep-reading).  Carver is accomplished at this, as are so many of the literary authors who did not plan perhaps to set their stories to this purpose, but manage through skill and experience to do so.  Neat.

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