The footage is being repeatedly played over and over. She continues aiming the camera at the man and filming until, suddenly, he is shot and murdered. The man watching the tape at home is clearly mesmerized and fascinated with the footage to the extent that he was trying to get his wife to watch it with him. Postmodernism is a vague term that can describe a variety of disciplines that include, architecture, art, music, film, fashion, literature…etc. This type of literature emerged in the era that succeeded World War II and relies heavily on the use of techniques such as, fragmentation, the creation of paradoxes, and questionable protagonists. Building upon that, the selected passag

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You encounter plenty of characters who tell their own stories and all kinds of third-person narration, but only a few quirky narrators who address you the reader directly. Second person is unconventional and unexpected. Readers can be put off by its strangeness. Sometimes it can be downright aggressive. Point of view defines the relationship between the writer, the character, and the reader. In first person, a character speaks to the reader with the writer as an invisible medium.

In the various modes of third person, the writer becomes visible and mediates between reader and character, creating a connection ranging from subjectivity that reveals every thought to the objectivity of a camera that shows only external action. With second person this triangular relationship becomes complicated. The novel seems to be written in first person. The narrator, a former lawyer, speaks to an unnamed and silent listener.

They meet in a bar in Amsterdam, and the narrator begins the story of his downfall. He continues the tale as they meet several more times over the next few days. Like Adam after the Fall, the narrator sees he is naked and understands that he — like every human being — is guilty. Several events contribute to the awakening.

The most crucial happens while he is walking alone at night and sees a woman jump from a bridge. Rather than trying to rescue her or calling for help, he walks away. The incident changes the narrator. Although he is guilty, he is beyond judgment. No one is capable of judging him since they are equally guilty. Once an earnest believer in law, he rejects morality and the concept of justice.

He explains to the listener:. If pimps and thieves were invariably sentenced, all decent people would get to thinking they themselves are constantly innocent.

Otherwise everything would be just a joke. At first the listener seems no more than a handy dramatic device. The narrator has to confess to someone. But it slowly becomes clear that the listener is part of the story; he is implicated. The narrator admits to stealing a valuable painting, and the listener could expose him. He sees himself in the narrator, just as readers do. The second person in The Fall includes not only the listener, but everyone. The narrator is watching a video clip on the news.

Filmed accidentally by a child, the clip shows a man being shot in his car by someone called the Texas Highway Killer. The narrator is obsessed with the clip and wants to watch it every time it appears on a news show. And he watches himself play out the obsession the way he would watch himself on video.

He becomes an image of himself, objectified and placed in a framework for analysis:. You keep on looking because things combine to hold you fast — a sense of the random, the amateurish, the accidental, the impending. His thoughts stretch beyond his small obsession to reach the understanding that video has radically changed reality for him and everyone else in our culture. Second-person point of view is necessary to this story. It models the way video affects how we look at ourselves, shapes our thinking.

It implicates readers, whose reality has been shaped by video whether they know it or not. It reveals our collective obsession with recording and replaying. Video clips of these events were aired hundreds of times on TV. A girl is enduring torture at the hands of a sadistic killer. I wanted the narrative to feel intense and immediate. First-person failed to convey the shattered state of a character whose personality is being destroyed along with her body and who struggles to hold onto a fragment of her personality.

I write genre fiction, but I try to learn from the best. What matters is whether the technique works. If second person were wrong for the section, it would be a distraction. As with any literary technique, second person works best when it has both a narrative and thematic purpose.

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