Week 2: Literary Forms - Helen Garner
Helen Garner’s work has elements of both fiction and non-fiction. Her essays such as ‘ Against Embarrassment’ (2003) are written in a style that incorporates elements that are usually seen in novels while in her novel Monkey Grip (1977) is essentially re written version of her diary and as such questions weather real life can be written as fiction.
I think that in today’s literary world the definition of fiction and non-fiction have become a little blurred. I believe that this is a good thing as it has allowed for writers such as Garner to straddle the lines of fiction and non-fiction while still keeping with the traditional form used for essays and novels.
‘Against Embarrassment’ is essentially about how music is now all recorded, all we are now are listeners and do not have our own voice, as we don’t sing, produce, play or make music anymore. It also addresses the idea that all artists need to be miserable. I liked this text in because she poses questions to the audience and to herself as the narrator, to make us question what she is saying, “see I am already putting on an act”(p.213) shows this questioning and allows the text to be opened up to interpretation of who she really is as a person. I also enjoyed this piece because it uses a lot of literary techniques. She uses personification when she is referring to the atmosphere in Scotland “where plants were allowed to grow separately and