To I or not to I

Jo Bech-Karlsen reading the work of Norwegian journalist Asne Seierstad from the Middle East, had this to say about her shift from objective to subjective reporting (which when used by Newsweek was drastically edited for the use of I): “Sometimes the use of I is a ritualised genre convention.”

Richard Keeble responded by saying “there are many ways to express the I” and he refered to Orwell’s use of ‘you’ and ‘one’ which leave no reader in doubt as to whose mind is guiding the writing.

Mark Masse said perhaps the way to decide on the use of the personal pronoun is to assess whether it is tied to the structure, then it has rationale.

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