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« 'Do I feel loquacious?' - well do you, punk? | Main | This Week's Acquisitions »

July 13, 2006

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» On Infodumping from Torque Control
In the June NYRSF, Graham wrote of David Maruseks Counting Heads that: It embodies as elegant an approach as Ive ever seen to the central and unique technical problem of sf: a science fiction story not only has to draw a narrative line th... [Read More]

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Brandon

I think in good authors, though, it can sometimes be difficult to tell whether we have an infodump or something setting important background for the plot. At least, it seems to me that a lot of the most plausible infodump candidates in Romola are actually of this sort, setting up for the rise and fall of Savonarola. In a sense, the whole plot of Romola consists in the history of Florence in the time of Savonarola and its incidental effect on Romola herself -- the history of Florence is the big and remote plot that structures the small and familiar plot of Romola's self-discovery. So the line between infodumping and very intricate exposition becomes a little unclear. In that sense I wonder if you might be right about infodumping's being a moment when the author's intentions fail in another way: the intention often being to create atmosphere, or intricacy of plot or characterization, on a grander scale than the rest of the writing can consistently admit.

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