Showing posts from February, 2012

First person perspective

I love books written in 1st person [First person, a grammatical person (e.g., "I", "we", "me", "us"), according to Wikipedia.]. Autobiographies, most travel books, and many novels are written as 1st person perspectives. In my mind, the advantages (A) of 1st person outweigh the disadvantages (D).

In 1st person, the writing seems fresh and spontaneous (A), unfiltered through any mind except the narrator's. Of course in fiction, this spontaneity is false, as there is no "first person" except the author, who's making it all up anyway. But in travel writing, first person adds to the reader's experience by making it easy to imagine being the traveler, as the reader feels as if he or she is getting inside the traveler's mind. Paul Theroux is a good example of a travel writer who makes no apparent effort to prevent the reader from living inside his thoughts and actions, be they flattering to Theroux or not.

[Of course, Theroux&…