Saturday, November 6, 2010

A Guide to Author Jargon for the Reader - 65

A Pirandello

a technique which has the characters directly constructing the novel either with or without the author's help and directly appealing to the reader. Named after Luigi Pirandello's Six Characters in Search of an Author. In films, this is called an audience wink, where direct contact between the character and the audience is made, side-stepping a story. It can be a real story killer if not handled correctly, completely destroying suspended credibility. But it can also add brief and fleeting comedy at the right point. Who can forget Ferris Buehler? A recent example of a Pirandello in a major work is Stephen King's Dark Tower series, when two major characters show up at King's house to retrieve a discarded manuscript which, if not completed, would end those characters' existence.

Edward C. Patterson

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