When Writing A Book Report What Tense Do You Use

When Writing A Book Report What Tense Do You Use-19
Hensher went so far as to write an op-ed—in the present tense—complaining the present tense was “everywhere, like Japanese Knotweed.” His complaint is at least among the most generous I’ve come across—it acknowledges some historical examples of the present tense like Dickens’s , as well as that it is used in both English lyric poetry and the vernacular, as well as in journalism and screenplay treatments.Phillip Pullman did much the same, his op-ed citing the verb tense’s use in also, as well as, occasionally, in Jane Eyre.

Hensher went so far as to write an op-ed—in the present tense—complaining the present tense was “everywhere, like Japanese Knotweed.” His complaint is at least among the most generous I’ve come across—it acknowledges some historical examples of the present tense like Dickens’s , as well as that it is used in both English lyric poetry and the vernacular, as well as in journalism and screenplay treatments.Phillip Pullman did much the same, his op-ed citing the verb tense’s use in also, as well as, occasionally, in Jane Eyre.

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In 2010, the novelist Philip Hensher complained that half of that year’s Man Booker nominees were novels written in the present tense.

He insulted the choice, dismissing it as only fashionable.

James Salter’s present tense novel of erotic obsession, , was published in 1967. And one of my favorite examples includes Gass—who never mentions anything in his essay of his experience of writing his own, much beloved story, “In the Heart of the Heart of the Country,” written in the present tense in 1967—and which was and still is so widely taught, it easily has done as much to spread the use of the present tense as anything else anyone published in the 20 century.

He is oddly sure to fault writing teachers in programs for the spread of the tense, but he also says they are not teaching it—he believes the students are teaching it to each other, not the professors, and blames the professors for this.

But both men acted as if its use should be, if not abolished, severely curtailed.

Laura Miller, covering the controversy for Salon, writes: What reason is it that writers give for opting for the present tense?

We should pause to offer a little pity to Jay Mc Inerney.

To the extent that the anti-present-tense crowd views it as a recent fad, usually the first damning thing they can say about it is that Jay Mc Inerney used it in a novel set in New York’s nightlife scene—a novel that everyone still knows, also. As for the idea women are responsible for the increase, well, the pity I extend there is toward Gass (who would likely never accept it).

* * * * In my experience, most conversations about the present tense go as follows: “the present tense” “complaint” “good point that some of the writing is good” “it’s really only good if people use it well” [awkward silence, no further discussion] As a part time professional ‘creative writing tutor’, I can say I only ever teach the present tense as one tool among many.

I do not urge it on my ‘sensitive and artistic storytellers’, or any of the insensitive ones either.

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