From Johnny Mac’s link. Sound familiar?
Related to the canard about George’s over-production is the misapprehension about his technique: the construction of character and narrative through speech. Lazy critics who regarded George’s reliance on speech as a form of authorial self-indulgence did not understand that his characters’ speech is always under his control: “I write dialogue in order to make something from it—a story.” The Higgins narrative technique concealed the author. Speech is character is action. George explicated this process in a 1987 interview:
A Matter of Crime: You have said that the structural use of speech in your novels is intended to replace the omniscient author with the omniscient reader. Would you expand on that?
Higgins: I don’t know how my stories are going to come out. I build them the way I used to build a trial, a criminal trial. The witnesses come along, and each recites what portion of reality he knows about: what he happened to observe, what he happened to do, what he happened to hear. I don’t change their testimony, as it were. At the end of a book, or at the end of a trial, either one, you then call upon the jury to reach its own moral decision, its own ethical judgments about the way the characters have behaved. I don’t do that for them. I give them all the evidence I know about, all the evidence I’ve “heard” or “seen” and present it on the page and let the reader decide what the morality was. I don’t want to make any judgments for the reader. That’s the reader’s job. I think reading is a participatory sport.