Мобильный 1 Add news
March 2010
April 2010
May 2010June 2010July 2010
August 2010
September 2010October 2010
November 2010
December 2010
January 2011
February 2011March 2011April 2011May 2011June 2011July 2011August 2011September 2011October 2011November 2011December 2011January 2012February 2012March 2012April 2012May 2012June 2012July 2012August 2012September 2012October 2012November 2012December 2012January 2013February 2013March 2013April 2013May 2013June 2013July 2013August 2013September 2013October 2013November 2013December 2013January 2014February 2014March 2014April 2014May 2014June 2014July 2014August 2014September 2014October 2014November 2014December 2014January 2015February 2015March 2015April 2015May 2015June 2015July 2015August 2015September 2015October 2015November 2015December 2015January 2016February 2016March 2016April 2016May 2016June 2016July 2016August 2016September 2016October 2016November 2016December 2016January 2017February 2017March 2017April 2017May 2017June 2017July 2017August 2017September 2017October 2017November 2017December 2017January 2018February 2018March 2018April 2018May 2018June 2018July 2018August 2018September 2018October 2018November 2018December 2018January 2019February 2019March 2019April 2019May 2019June 2019July 2019August 2019September 2019October 2019November 2019December 2019January 2020February 2020March 2020April 2020May 2020June 2020July 2020August 2020September 2020October 2020November 2020December 2020January 2021February 2021March 2021April 2021May 2021June 2021July 2021August 2021September 2021October 2021November 2021December 2021January 2022February 2022March 2022April 2022May 2022
1234567891011121314151617181920
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
News Every Day |

Don Winslow: The Complicated Ethics of Writing Violence in Fiction

There are some hard ethical questions in the writing of crime fiction.

For me, the most difficult one is how to portray violence.

For one thing, should you depict it all?

And if so, how do you do it with some sense of morality?

I wrestle with this issue all the time. It’s a fine line to walk. On the one hand I don’t want to sanitize violence—I don’t like presenting murder as a parlor game, or worse, a video game in which there are no real consequences. On the other hand, I don’t want to cross that thin line into what might be called the pornography of violence, a means to merely titillate the worst angels of our nature.
[time-brightcove not-tgx=”true”]

But we have to deal with it.

After all, we write crime fiction, and crime often involves violence. So either we choose crimes that don’t—the slick, bloodless heist, the clever con game—or we write scenes that involve shootings, stabbings and various kinds of murder.

And maybe that’s the answer—maybe we have come to a time when we should stop writing violent crime altogether. But if we make that choice, we say goodbye to the murder mystery, the procedural, the forensic novel.

And maybe I’m wrong about not sanitizing the violence. There is, after all, a place for the cleverly plotted, suspenseful whodunit with its witty dialogue, exotic locales, and intriguing characters. (Who am I to judge?) It’s fine, as long as we know it’s a game and we play by its rules and know its conventions. So if Colonel Someone kills Lord Someone Else in the study with a monkey wrench, we don’t expect to see the blood and brains and we don’t feel much from the grieving family except anticipation of the will.

Fair enough, I suppose.

But I write realistic crime fiction.

For twenty-three years, I wrote close-to-the-bone novels about the Mexican drug cartels. The actual violence was horrific, and I was faced with a stark choice: Do I back away from the violence, soften it, mute it, make it less terrible than it was, or do I bring it to the reader in realistic, graphic language that showed it the way it was?

For the most part, I chose the latter option.

It was hard choice.

Just researching these events was a brutal experience, and I knew that reading about them in these terms would be likewise brutal. But every violent incident in those books actually happened in one form or another , and I wanted the reader to understand the real tragedy of the so-called War On Drugs, I wanted the reader to feel the suffering of the people involved, comprehend the consequences of the violence.

If you’ve ever seen a gunshot wound, ever talked the family of a murder victim, ever gone to the funeral, you there is nothing sanitized or antiseptic about violence.

It is not the beautifully lit, slow-motion ballet seen in many films, nor the glittering, pounding action on the video screen.

It is ugly, it is dirty, it is heartbreaking.

But does that mean we should burden the reader with all that?

Not necessarily. Many readers of crime fiction go to books for an escape from reality, and there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s a legitimate choice on both the writers and reader’s part. I’ve made that choice myself, in pieces that were never meant to depict real events.

I felt a different responsibility in writing realistic novels about the drug cartels. I wanted to get behind the headlines, to bring the reader into a close relationship with individuals instead of stereotypes, so that when one of them was killed – as so many were – the reader felt something.

But the question still remained—how far do you take it, how graphic do you want to be, where is that thin line?

At times I did back away from it. There were some incidents in the drug wars that I knew for a fact happened that were so horrific as to be surreal. I didn’t think the reader would even believe them. But, in all candor, the larger reason I didn’t was that just couldn’t bring myself to write them. I just couldn’t do it to the reader—or to myself.

Did that violate my precept of wanting readers to feel the effects of the drug wars? Yes, I suppose so, but at some point, enough is enough—how much pain do you want to inflict?

Not that much.

There is also the real danger of inuring the reader to violence, by repetition or escalation desensitizing the reader – the actual opposite of what I intended.

It can happen—researching those books I often spent days looking at atrocity photos and videos. The first one I saw was sickening, the thirtieth…was just depressing. (I always made an effort to put names to the victims, it was the most I could do to not be a simple voyeur.) But trying to convey those images on the page, to be accurate, realistic and truthful without being merely obscene was an ethical dilemma. I went back and forth on whether I should do it all and then decided that I had to because it was the truth and people needed to know the truth.

I hope I was right.

I became aware of the phenomenon of desensitizing the reader about halfway through writing the second book, The Cartel, which depicted an extraordinarily violent era. More and more, I stopped depicting the scene of violence itself, but had a character come upon the scene and react to it. That way, I got the emotional and psychological consequences of the violence, which I think is the more important value. I think it also made it easier for the reader to relate in real human terms—we can all understand grief, revulsion and anger.

There were still times when the story required that I write the actual violence, but I started more to write the funeral, the wake, the feelings of the survivors., the effects over the course of years. Maybe I’ve just softened over time myself, I don’t know.

I do know that when I was on tour for those drug books, there was not a single event at which someone didn’t come up to me who had lost a relative, a loved one, a friend in the drug wars. Or someone’s who had lost someone to an overdose. A few even asked me if I could tell them something about a missing family member. When that happens, over and over again, you feel a keen responsibility to the people that you write about, even if they are fictional.

I became more careful about how I wrote the violence, knowing that while I could still be realistic, what I must never be is glib.

Maybe our ethical responsibility lies in depicting the results of violence, the real human pain of the victims and their loved ones. In spending time with cops, writing a book called The Force, I learned, for instance, that a homicide detective’s primary relationship in a crime is not with the criminal but with the victim and the surviving family, and that they feel it intently and forever. I once sat with a retired detective and watched tears stream down his face as he told me about the killing of a child that happened thirty years before.

I didn’t write about that murder. Couldn’t do it—not to myself, the reader, that detective, or that child. I wrote around it, in an elliptical reference to a police officer’s past and what haunted him.

That felt fair, that felt right.

And I think it was effective, because it was human feeling that I was after. I wanted the reader to understand the cop.

And maybe that’s our guide. Maybe we have to feel our way to the right approach, case by case, consult our own humanity in deciding how far to take things, how graphic we can be without violating that humanity.

Again, it’s hard not to cross that invisible line.

I find that I use fewer words these days to describe violence, that I try to make small images stand in for large ones, symbolic ones for graphic ones. I find myself cutting more in the editing, while adding more lyrical sequences in the remembrance of a violent event.

I’m still realistic, but perhaps in a different way.

How do we ethically portray violence in crime fiction?

I wish I had all the answers, but I certainly don’t. Perhaps one answer is that we write what we think is necessary and then make sure that we also write the consequences. Maybe we just try to be human, aware of other humans, their experiences and their emotions.

And maybe that’s what being ethical is.









Read also

Celtics’ Ime Udoka Weighs In On Al Horford’s Return For Game 2 Vs. Heat

Ally vs. Axos review: Which online bank is right for you?

No longer a ‘cage’: controversial Sliema canopy has sides removed


Прямой эфир РБК. Главные новости России и мира сегодня (Прямой эфир ежедневно)

News, articles, comments, with a minute-by-minute update, now on Today24.pro

News Every Day

High school scoreboard: NCS baseball, softball playoffs, CIF NorCal volleyball regionals

Today24.pro — latest news 24/7. You can add your news instantly now — here


News Every Day

Andrew Nicholson: ‘Riders must use their gears when riding cross-country’



Sports today


Новости тенниса
Ролан Гаррос

Рафаэль Надаль прибыл в Париж и провёл первую тренировку на "Ролан Гаррос"



Спорт в России и мире
Москва

Спортсмены Росгвардии стали победителями Открытого чемпионата Белоруссии по велоспорту на треке


Загрузка...

All sports news today




Загрузка...

Sports in Russia today

Москва

Фанаты «Зенита» перед выездом к «Спартаку» посетили Ржевский мемориал Советскому солдату


Новости России

Game News

Total War: Warhammer 3's 1.2 update means more siege defences, less towers, free mounts


Russian.city


Москва

В Москве подготовят 386 машинистов и их помощников для МЦД-3


Губернаторы России
PR time

Ирина Хакамада «Энергия: зарождение и управление»


Свыше 55 тысяч человек переехали в новые квартиры по программе реновации в Москве

Более 20 новых светофоров установят в Петербурге до октября

Пульмонолог Белевский: изменения в дыхании после COVID-19 могут пройти бесследно при ЗОЖ

В Москве состоится первый форум решения социальных задач


Ремонт «Дома Окуджавы» обещают закончить к юбилею Нижнего Тагила 

Определены победители фестиваля-конкурса Булата Окуджавы в Нижнем Тагиле

Ростовчанин Баста выпустил новый трек

«Пухляш» из Little Big рассказал о проблемах с оплатой жилья в Москве


Стефанос Циципас: Джокович - самый большой профессионал среди всех теннисных легенд. Он лучший из лучших

Рафаэль Надаль прибыл в Париж и провёл первую тренировку на "Ролан Гаррос"

Селиваненко: к сегодняшнему поражению Медведева от Гаске нужно относиться спокойно

Селиваненко назвал Медведева одним из фаворитов «Ролан Гарроса»



Фанаты «Зенита» перед выездом к «Спартаку» посетили Ржевский мемориал Советскому солдату

Загрутдинов: Физкультурно-оздоровительный комплекс с двумя бассейнами построят в районе Внуково

В ЕАЭС унифицируют подачу информации о растительном сырье в лекарствах

В Москве подготовят 386 машинистов и их помощников для МЦД-3


Тула примет Кубок России по тхэквондо: тренеры поделились секретами воспитания чемпионов

Волшебство в реальном мире: малыши из Коммунарки будут воспитываться в «Весёлом королевстве»

Загрутдинов: Физкультурно-оздоровительный комплекс с двумя бассейнами построят в районе Внуково

Я возвращаю Ваш портрет. Фильм-концерт об истории отечественной эстрады (1983)


БФТ-Холдинг внедрил «Витрину данных» МФЦ Московской области

Иван Лямин: благотворитель с легким характером

Бочкарев: На станции «Каширская» БКЛ ведется монтаж исторических панно

Новое футбольное поле обустраивают на стадионе «Спартак» в Звенигороде



Путин в России и мире







Персональные новости
Russian.city

Баста

Названа дата премьеры фильма о Басте с участием Урганта и Хабенского



News Every Day

Andrew Nicholson: ‘Riders must use their gears when riding cross-country’




Friends of Today24


Загрузка...
Музыкальные новости
"Воскресенье " Олег Митяев



Персональные новости
Близкий друг Путина миллиардер Пугачев. Вся правда о Путине, его семье и деньгах. В гостях у Гордона (2021)

Навальный об уволенном за пост священнике (2021)

Slava Marlow – суперуспех и депрессия в 21 год / вДудь (2021)

Обнаглевшие дети путинской элиты (2021)

Дайте собакам мяса (новый звук) -Владимир Высоцкий

Группа "Рождество" - песня "Так хочется жить!" (Видео с концерта в Киеве группы "РОЖДЕСТВО" в 2011 году в Доме офицеров)

Adriano Celentano Любимая песня Челентано (высочайшая энергетика) talentTV


Moscow.media