The Paradox of realistic dialogue

A. L. Davis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The type of novelistic dialogue that is often considered "realistic", or analogous to actual conversation, is not only a highly artificial construct but often tends towards caricature. This paper, which considers the opinions of 20th and 21st century novelists, their work, and the reactions of certain reviewers, is supplemented by an extract from The Final Weeks of the Critic. This is a novel produced as part of an M.Phil with Macquarie’s Media Department. The novel attempts, through creative practice, to answer many of the same research questions as its accompanying exegesis. The halves of the research project together highlight the paradox of dialogue: although authors usually attempt to make reported conversations appear realistic, in general it is only by giving conversations between fictional characters special (and decidedly unrealistic) attributes that readable, enjoyable fiction can be produced.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalNEO : journal for higher degree research studnets in the social sciences and humanities
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes

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