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Gee on heroism

March 27, 2011

The Champion - Maurice Gee

I really love the way Maurice Gee looks at writing.  He is known for the clarity of his characters – and I think this is a deserved admiration.  But he seems to be very clear about the process of narrating those characters too. He often makes very tight, meaningful comments about his craft.  This one for example:

“Sports like rugby allow for moments of heroism.”[1]

…Moments of heroism… what a wonderful, ‘human’ idea (in the ‘I’m only human’ sense). And absolutely a driving force in a lot of strong characters, whose struggles seem to amount to, if not end in ‘moments of heroism’.
How do such moments roll into meaningful anecdotes?
How do such moments suggest purpose?
How do they compare to the great heroes of mythic proportions? What culture surrounds such a value/idea?

[1] p16 Young, David.: “Maurice Gee: ‘non-aligned’ novelist.” New Zealand Listener (91:2040) 16-17. (1979)

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