Summary

The most striking stylistic feature of John McGahern's second novel, The Dark is that the narrative voice constantly shifts between the first, second, and third person, until in the concluding chapter there seems to be no discernible narrative presence at all. We know that McGahern considers style as the most important expression of the sense of reality of any fiction. In a late essay he put it thus: Or as the narrator of The Dark says about the style of Joseph Addison, which he is studying for his exams, 'you knew every characteristic of style except that it was simply the inexplicable way a man who usually donned britches in the mornings had of writing'. (2)

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