Eva Figes D. M. Thomas - Essay

D. M. Thomas

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

A work of fiction defines a world of its own by excluding almost all of the real world. The writer sets limits to what he will deal with, as a painter decides the size of his canvas. Tolstoy gives us the illusion that the world of "War and Peace" and "Anna Karenina" is coextensive with the world we live in; in Jane Austen we are conscious of looking at a cameo, and much of our pleasure arises from our appreciation of her exquisite judgment in staking out the boundaries of her art. What a fictional work leaves out is as important as what it takes in.

In "Waking" Eva Figes has chosen to examine the life of a woman by revealing her thoughts in the quiet time between sleeping and waking, at different...

(The entire section is 527 words.)