April 22nd, 2004

Postbox Fairy

Historical Present

What are people's opinions on the use of the historical present tense? ("Jane walks down the road. Suddenly she sees a dog. It is big and scary." as opposed to "Jane walked down the road. Suddenly she saw a dog. It was big and scary.")

Is it a useful device or chiefly an affectation? If it is useful, what is it useful for, and how does it alter the mood or impression of the piece?
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