Language: Is it really important?

After reading “Drown”, I am really starting to notice the importance of language in a story.  I mean, would “Drown” have been so believable if it were told in the language of say, Faulkner? (or dare I say Joseph Conrad?). Speaking of Conrad, would “Heart of Darkness” have been as confusing if he were to write in the language of Diaz?

Ok, bad example, I’m pretty sure “Heart of Darkness” would still be confusing no matter what language it’s told in but still, language is a major if not the primary factor in how a story comes across. In “Drown” specifically, the language on it’s own represents a certain class,race, and society of people. Sure the plot is important, as well as the characters and setting, but I think these are all subservient to the language. The plot, characters, and setting wouldn’t gel together cohesively if they weren’t supported by the appropriate language. It’s something that I never really took into account, realizing how important language is in the shaping of a story, but without it, I don’t think “Drown” would have kept it’s essence, as well as any other story.

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1 Comment

  1.   beverly gross Said:

    on November 30, 2010 at 9:27 am

    interesting speculation. a valuable postscript to your reading experience.

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