"novel" again

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at YAHOO.COM
Sat Sep 8 22:10:53 UTC 2007

I swear I'm not searching for these. Just makes it worse, doesn't it?

  2005 Amazon.com customer review [http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/customer-reviews/009948353X/sr=1-1/qid=1189289044/ref=cm_cr_dp_synop/103-7720590-2548651?ie=UTF8&n=283155&s=books&customer-reviews.start=1&qid=1189289044&sr=1-1#R1P5N2N5V1H99Q] (Sept. 29): It is on par with Frank Elkin's diary, "The Heart of a Man," that his widow published after his A-4 was shot down...in 1966. That novel is the only other work I have read that compares in what it may accomplish for the reader from an emotional understanding of the immense toll of the Vietnam War.

  HDAS cites _The Heart of a Man_, by Frank Elkins [sic]; as the reviewer says. it is indeed a diary, not fiction.


"Joel S. Berson" <Berson at ATT.NET> wrote:
  ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
Sender: American Dialect Society
Poster: "Joel S. Berson"
Subject: Re: "novel" again

At 9/7/2007 11:20 AM, Jon L wrote:
>True, Joel, but the point is that Kovic's book *isn't a novel.*

Ah -- Did I misunderstand, your objection wasn't to calling a novel
"autobiographical", but to calling Kovic's book a "novel" when it
should better be called a "memoir"? (Based I assume on knowledge of
its contents, which I don't have since I haven't read it.)


> By sheer and almost unbelievable coincidence, a few minutes after
> posting that atrocity I discovered an example of "memoir" used to
> mean "a book-length fiction set in a past time about which the
> author has some personal knowledge." Skeptical? Try this:
>2003 Karen Krizanovich, in Steven Jay Schneider, ed. _1001 Movies
>You Must See Before You Die_ (N.Y.: Barron's) 675: Lothar-Gunther
>Buchheim [is] the war correspondent upon whose bestselling 1973
>memoirs the script for _Das Boot_ was based.
> Krizanovich reviews films for various British publications,
> including _Cosmopolitan UK_.
> BTW, why you must see all these movies before you die is never
> fully explained.
> JL
>"Joel S. Berson" wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
>Sender: American Dialect Society
>Poster: "Joel S. Berson"
>Subject: Re: "novel" again
>At 9/6/2007 08:40 PM, Jon L. wrote:
> >How can I resist?
> >
> > 2003 Mark Taylor _The Vietnam War in History, Literature and
> > Film_ (Tuscaloosa: U. of Alabama Press) 140: Ron Kovic's
> > autobiographical novel _Born on the Fourth of July_ [was]
> published in 1976.
> >
> > Kovic's very well-known book is what used to be called a
> > "memoir." Taylor - Lecturer in American Studies at the University
> > of Hull - doesn't claim that any of it is invented.
>Although I too cringe at calling an autobiography a novel, I take
>"autobiographical" as a looser "based on a life". And the OED has,
>at least for "autobiographic", "1. Of the nature of autobiography",
>with one quote being:
>1870 Lowell Among my Bks. Ser. ii. (1873) 26 The writings of
>Dante..are all..autobiographic.
>Surely Dante was not Orpheus -- and the OED's second ellipsis omits
>an interesting qualification:
>"The first remark to be made upon the writings of Dante is that they
>are all (with the possible exception of the treatise De Vulgari
>Eloquio) autobiographic"
>This is from Google Books -- and for something entirely different,
>eagerly await a forthcoming publication ...
>The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>Be a better Heartthrob. Get better relationship answers from someone
>who knows.
>Yahoo! Answers - Check it out.
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