Bio Criticism Paper

1241 words - 5 pages

The Life of Graham SwiftMost authors add little bits of themselves or of their experiences into their books because they write what they know and what they know best is their own life. What if, however, the author grew up in a very normal and uneventful life, as is the case with Graham Swift. Swift begins his first nonfiction work, Making an Elephant: Writing from Within, by describing the two memories he can remember most vividly as a child (Graham Swift). Swift describes the first one as a memory "'of being taken when I was very small to have my polio inoculation'", and he describes the second memory as "'being with my mother in a Croydon department store where a lavish, glittery Santa's grotto had been constructed'" (Graham Swift). These two memories show the common and normal childhood that Swift lived. He fortunately found pieces of himself out of the normalcy that would make great novels, and began his journey into literature. Graham Swift's journey has led him to become a well established British author.On May 4th 1949, Lionel and Shelia Swift welcomed a bouncing baby boy into the world, a baby they would name Graham (Tredell). Swift's dad worked as a civil servant, and Swift has been quoted saying that all in all his childhood was not extraordinary in any way, or as Swift put it, it was "'a very ordinary suburban existence'". Swift began his education career in a private school, Dulwich College, which has also educated other authors such as Raymond Chandler, C.S. Forester, and P.G. Wodehouse (Tredell). Swift later continued his education career first at Cambridge and then at York, but he did not begin his career as an author right away (Bernard). Instead, he took about ten years to teach and write in both London and Greece before he eventually published his first book, The Sweet Shop Owner, in 1980 at the age of 31 (Bernard). He advanced even more and has authored a total of eight novels as well as one novella and a short story collection entitled Learning to Swim and Other Stories (Graham Swift).Swift has a writing style that is as complete and unique as he himself is. One technique that Swift uses in his novels is as the author of An Interview with Graham Swift puts it a "saturation of the repetitive texture" of a novel because "the things that people ordinarily choose to repeat are quite telling" (Bernard). He also uses this technique to set up a specific feel or language that is unique to that specific novel. In other words, he uses the technique to set his novels apart. Another extremely interesting technique that Swift uses is the use of adjectives in a context that gives them multiple definitions, if not a completely new definition that is unique to that text. This Swift said is needed in his writing because sometimes things or experiences that are "extraneous to normal existence" have happened, and the only possible way to describe them accurately is with adjectives that have interesting meanings and interesting contexts...

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