Read Books By AWers!

Welcome to the AbsoluteWrite Water Cooler! Please read The Newbie Guide To Absolute Write

editing for authors ad

A publisher or agency using Google ads to solicit your novel probably isn't anyone you want to write for.


Go Back   Absolute Write Water Cooler > Writing Genre > Mainstream/Contemporary/Literary
Register FAQ Calendar Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 04-22-2012, 03:39 PM   #1
gothicangel
Toughen up.
 
gothicangel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Outer Brigantia
Posts: 7,407
gothicangel is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsgothicangel is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsgothicangel is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsgothicangel is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsgothicangel is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsgothicangel is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsgothicangel is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsgothicangel is so great that we've run out of appropriate compliments
Suspension of Disbelief in Literary Fiction?

First off, this isn't meant to be a genre vs literary thread.

So, I'm almost finished reading Andrew Miller's Pure, which won the 2011 Costa Prize [and believe is shortlisted for The Walter Scott Prize too.] It's old style Gothic [think Great Expectations or Wuthering Heights], set in the years preceding the French Revolution.

As I was reading last night, I was finding the plot becoming more, and more convoluted, my supension of disbelief going right out the window. At which point I thought, 'you wouldn't get away with this in a genre novel.'
Yet this book has won a big literary prize.

So what do you think? Do we let literary fiction stretch believability further than genre?
__________________
"But you, the reader, are an intelligent person: you will follow this - you will understand what is going on, I don't need to spell it out or join the dots" - John Le Carre

"Imagination only comes when you privilege the subconscious" - Hilary Mantel
gothicangel is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04-22-2012, 04:54 PM   #2
RobJ
Banned
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 2,682
RobJ should run for PresidentRobJ should run for PresidentRobJ should run for PresidentRobJ should run for PresidentRobJ should run for PresidentRobJ should run for President
Quote:
Originally Posted by gothicangel View Post
So what do you think? Do we let literary fiction stretch believability further than genre?
Not in my experience of reading both.
RobJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-22-2012, 06:03 PM   #3
HoneyBadger
Queen of the Upmarket Bagladies
 
HoneyBadger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Fort Wayne, IN
Posts: 1,182
HoneyBadger has a golden reputationHoneyBadger has a golden reputationHoneyBadger has a golden reputationHoneyBadger has a golden reputationHoneyBadger has a golden reputationHoneyBadger has a golden reputation
I just watched Melancholia last night. (Loved it, recommend it highly just for the beautiful imagery, didn't think it was sad at all, but I'm not so typical emotionally.)

The premise (planets colliding) is based on absolutely no science at all, but it doesn't matter. It just... was how it was, even though the science was laughable. von Trier said he didn't care about getting the astrophysics right, and I think it worked.

That's one reason I *like* litfic: if it's pretty and the conflict is solid, you can say 'You know what? Unicorns.' And bam! Then it's magical realism!*

*Not really, but, kinda.
__________________
I waste my time on Twitter now.
HoneyBadger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-23-2012, 01:16 PM   #4
Orchestra
practical experience, GTFO
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 354
Orchestra is well-respected
You anglophones and your ridiculous literary divisions. A novel is a novel. If it shows excellent command of language, deals with real and relevant themes, examples thoughtful development of interesting ideas and has good characterization and memorable events in it, it very well should be nominated for a literary award.

Melancholia is a good example. I'd argue that having a scientifically plausible threat such as an asteroid would take away a huge part of the movie's emotional power. "This can't be happening... and yet it is" is exactly the feeling you'd associate with the end of the world. You won't get that with a big rock. Not to mention that the connotations between two planets colliding are quite different from simply having an asteroid and a planet collide.
Orchestra is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-24-2012, 10:10 PM   #5
ErstwhileA
New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: In the pleasant darkcool deep
Posts: 43
ErstwhileA is on a distinguished road
Quote:
Originally Posted by Orchestra View Post
You anglophones and your ridiculous literary divisions. A novel is a novel. If it shows excellent command of language, deals with real and relevant themes, examples thoughtful development of interesting ideas and has good characterization and memorable events in it, it very well should be nominated for a literary award.

Melancholia is a good example. I'd argue that having a scientifically plausible threat such as an asteroid would take away a huge part of the movie's emotional power. "This can't be happening... and yet it is" is exactly the feeling you'd associate with the end of the world. You won't get that with a big rock. Not to mention that the connotations between two planets colliding are quite different from simply having an asteroid and a planet collide.
Doesn't that raise the point, though, that there is a necessary emotional or metaphoric belief that has to be sustained in fiction even if the events of the book are not factually possible? If you believe that the collision of two planets is an apt, deftly handled metaphor for any sort of emotionally incomprehensible, cataclysmic event, then the film works. If you can't believe in at least the reality of the metaphor, it doesn't. (I haven't seen more than the previews for Melancholia; I have no opinion one way or the other).

In that sense, any novel whose metaphor becomes too clouded, convoluted or distanced from any recognizable realism to be successfully comprehended has caused a different kind of suspension of belief and so must be counted an emotional failure, regardless of genre. (And those boundaries are very loose-- you can stretch the distance between realism and metaphor really far before you start getting into trouble). I think in a lot of ways so-called "lit-fic" DOES get into more trouble in that area than genre fiction, because often-- though not always-- authors whose works are classified as such are given more leeway to try to invent or reflect emotional rather than factual truth (you won't get a bunch of lit dorks in a room arguing about how the Midnight Children are possible, for example, whereas you definitely hear plausibility arguments among sci-fi fans-- because seeming factual plausibility is an encouraged part of the genre).

Last edited by ErstwhileA; 04-24-2012 at 10:19 PM.
ErstwhileA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-25-2012, 03:19 PM   #6
Once!
Still confused by shoelaces
 
Once!'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Godalming, England
Posts: 1,414
Once! has earned our admirationOnce! has earned our admirationOnce! has earned our admirationOnce! has earned our admiration
I think there's a hidden rationing going on here. We have all got an internal budget for just how far we are prepared to suspend disbelief, and just how many times we will let the author "get away with one".

So there is nothing wrong with a work which has a preposterous premise, as long as it stays true to that premise throughout. I can accept talking pigs in Animal Farm, as long as they don't later start flying. Spacecraft scream in Star Wars. I know that's not scientifically possible, but frankly who cares? The opening price for a being a reader or viewer of a fictional work is that you accept its premise.

But what the OP seems to be talking about here is a book (which I haven't read) which becomes too convoluted as it goes along. That seems to go beyond the willing suspension of disbelief about the premise of the work. It suggests that, for one reader at least, the work didn't have an internal integrity.

It's a bit like getting your main character out of a fix by having him or her winning the lottery. Sure it's perfectly possible, but c'mon...

Or having your main protagonist die off-stage in a convenient accident with a truck. Oh, hang on, that was "Girl with a Dragon Tattoo", wasn't it?

For that matter, Shakespeare just about got away with the most ridiculous plot-lines to get both Romeo and Juliet to commit suicide on stage within minutes of each other. We allow him one withdrawal from the suspension of disbelief bank because the strength of the writing and characterisation means that he is pretty much in credit.

Do we expect different genres to have different tolerances for suspension of disbelief? Once we get past basic premise and into plotting and structure, I don't think that we do. Internal integrity and consistency can be a problem for any genre.
Once! is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-26-2012, 12:52 AM   #7
Burl Kenneth Sloan
figuring it all out
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Florida, USA
Posts: 53
Burl Kenneth Sloan is on a distinguished road
Quote:
Originally Posted by Once! View Post
I think there's a hidden rationing going on here. We have all got an internal budget for just how far we are prepared to suspend disbelief, and just how many times we will let the author "get away with one".
Excellent point. I recently completed a manuscript about a guy in Witness Protection. At first, I took one or two minor liberties with how that program might work. Nothing serious. Then I decided it would be fun, if the FBI actually had a department in which it hired professional writers to develop the new "lives" for the witnesses. Then, I decided it would be even more fun, if the FBI began hiring directors and cameramen and professional actors and built studio-like sets and developed scripts and...and...and...

Finally, one day I was forced acknowledge that I had gone too far. Not just too far. WAAAAY too far. I cut nearly 10,000 words in the process of removing the bulk of it, but it had to be done. The plot had reached the point of ludicrousness.

It was fun to write though, and I saved the excised text in case I ever have a future piece in which it would be appropriate.
Burl Kenneth Sloan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2012, 03:17 AM   #8
wishingonasupernova
figuring it all out
 
wishingonasupernova's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 75
wishingonasupernova is on a distinguished road
Having a plot that has some plausibility is very important to a fictional work, but more important is a compelling story and interesting characters whose thoughts, emotions, actions, and dialogue feel authentic even if some of the other elements in the story seem too far fetched or inaccurate.

To use examples that I recently read/watched, Jonathan Safran-Foer's novel Everything is Illuminated, his wife's (Nicole Krauss iirc) book A History of Love, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time, and the television show Breaking Bad have some ludicrous stuff in them, but they were all a joy for me to read / watch and I didn't mind suspending my disbelief on some of the plot points because they were so entertaining, nothing was too glaringly implausible, and the characters themselves felt fully formed and authentic.

OTOH, in a Dan Brown type novel or a CSI/24/Dexter type television shows, the plot holes and lack of verisimilitude are too much for me to stomach due to the lack of depth and generic nature of the characters.
__________________

Last edited by wishingonasupernova; 05-10-2012 at 03:23 AM.
wishingonasupernova is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-23-2012, 03:25 AM   #9
Jamesaritchie
resident curmudgeon
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 22,935
Jamesaritchie is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsJamesaritchie is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsJamesaritchie is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsJamesaritchie is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsJamesaritchie is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsJamesaritchie is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsJamesaritchie is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsJamesaritchie is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsJamesaritchie is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsJamesaritchie is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsJamesaritchie is so great that we've run out of appropriate compliments
Quote:
Originally Posted by Orchestra View Post
You anglophones and your ridiculous literary divisions. A novel is a novel. If it shows excellent command of language, deals with real and relevant themes, examples thoughtful development of interesting ideas and has good characterization and memorable events in it, it very well should be nominated for a literary award.

Melancholia is a good example. I'd argue that having a scientifically plausible threat such as an asteroid would take away a huge part of the movie's emotional power. "This can't be happening... and yet it is" is exactly the feeling you'd associate with the end of the world. You won't get that with a big rock. Not to mention that the connotations between two planets colliding are quite different from simply having an asteroid and a planet collide.
Um, yeah, riiiiiight.
__________________
Blog http://jamesaritchie2.blogspot.com/
Jamesaritchie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-23-2012, 01:22 PM   #10
enesthi
practical experience, FTW
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Arizona
Posts: 167
enesthi is on a distinguished road
This reminds me of my favorite quote from my dad "Never let the facts get in the way of a good story."
enesthi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-25-2012, 07:08 AM   #11
Graz
practical experience, FTW
 
Graz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: 1
Posts: 475
Graz has a spectacular aura
"So what do you think? Do we let literary fiction stretch believability further than genre?"

Depends solely on the reader, their likes and dislikes

I don't read or believe in fairies, monsters, vampires, aliens or spaceships. No matter how well written, my disbelief will not be suspended. Human beings face tribulations, forced to deal with life altering events all the time. People are murdered for money, lust or love. Boy meets girl, loses girl, maybe gets girl back, maybe doesn't. Suspended disbelief isn't hard when I read a well written story on these subjects. Ergo, my likes and dislikes dictate my unwillingness or willingness of my mind not to question the believability of what I read.

Last edited by Graz; 05-28-2012 at 07:57 PM. Reason: yes
Graz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2012, 07:02 AM   #12
Tinman
practical experience, FTW
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Southeast Missouri
Posts: 222
Tinman is well-respected
I recently read two short stories. One, by a mid-list author, was about plastic bags that come to life and create a zombie-like apocalypse. The second was about genetically modified venus flytraps who could apparently converse telepathically and fall in love. I don't think any literary fiction asks a reader for that big of a leap lol.
Tinman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-06-2012, 05:10 AM   #13
Graz
practical experience, FTW
 
Graz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: 1
Posts: 475
Graz has a spectacular aura
But then again, many years ago I read "Skinny Legs and All" my memories are vague but a spoon was on a journey of some sort, I read all the way through to see how the spoon made out
Graz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-16-2012, 09:22 PM   #14
Graz
practical experience, FTW
 
Graz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: 1
Posts: 475
Graz has a spectacular aura
Actually, it was a spoon, fork, plate, conch shell and a dirty sock. My disbelief remained suspended throughout
Graz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2012, 11:17 PM   #15
shakeysix
blue eyed floozy
 
shakeysix's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: St. John, Kansas
Posts: 7,340
shakeysix is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsshakeysix is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsshakeysix is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsshakeysix is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsshakeysix is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsshakeysix is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsshakeysix is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsshakeysix is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsshakeysix is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsshakeysix is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsshakeysix is so great that we've run out of appropriate compliments
skinny legs and all --wow--i'd forgotten all about that one. i did read it but it is all very foggy. was there a belly dancer in there somewhere? was that jitterbug perfume? --s6
shakeysix is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-04-2012, 10:44 PM   #16
Graz
practical experience, FTW
 
Graz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: 1
Posts: 475
Graz has a spectacular aura
Quote:
Originally Posted by shakeysix View Post
skinny legs and all --wow--i'd forgotten all about that one. i did read it but it is all very foggy. was there a belly dancer in there somewhere? was that jitterbug perfume? --s6


Yes, belly dancer named Jezebel maybe, jitterbug perfume does sound familiar.
Graz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-04-2012, 11:32 PM   #17
shakeysix
blue eyed floozy
 
shakeysix's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: St. John, Kansas
Posts: 7,340
shakeysix is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsshakeysix is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsshakeysix is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsshakeysix is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsshakeysix is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsshakeysix is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsshakeysix is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsshakeysix is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsshakeysix is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsshakeysix is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsshakeysix is so great that we've run out of appropriate compliments
i love tom robbins but skinny legs was hard to finish. i guess woodpecker or sissy are my favorite characters of his. the rubber rose douche bag ranch is my fav location. talk about suspension of disbelief--s6
shakeysix is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2012, 09:01 AM   #18
Iustefan
figuring it all out
 
Iustefan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 84
Iustefan is on a distinguished road
Quote:
Excellent point. I recently completed a manuscript about a guy in Witness Protection. At first, I took one or two minor liberties with how that program might work. Nothing serious. Then I decided it would be fun, if the FBI actually had a department in which it hired professional writers to develop the new "lives" for the witnesses. Then, I decided it would be even more fun, if the FBI began hiring directors and cameramen and professional actors and built studio-like sets and developed scripts and...and...and...

Finally, one day I was forced acknowledge that I had gone too far. Not just too far. WAAAAY too far. I cut nearly 10,000 words in the process of removing the bulk of it, but it had to be done. The plot had reached the point of ludicrousness.
You see to me that sounds like a fascinating idea, you should go back and salvage it and at least turn it into a short story and run even further. I think the key to writing like this, is keeping the emotions in check, and the characters the centerpiece which the world revolves around. If you make the 'concept' the centerpiece, and the characters are simply reacting to it then you've lost me. Make the 'ludicrous' things highlight the emotions, and draw out reality from the unreality. They won't feel ludicrous if the characters feel real and react to as real. Think Charlie Kaufman screenplays.

Good job on completing the manuscript though.
Iustefan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2012, 09:21 AM   #19
shakeysix
blue eyed floozy
 
shakeysix's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: St. John, Kansas
Posts: 7,340
shakeysix is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsshakeysix is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsshakeysix is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsshakeysix is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsshakeysix is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsshakeysix is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsshakeysix is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsshakeysix is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsshakeysix is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsshakeysix is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsshakeysix is so great that we've run out of appropriate compliments
i just paid $10 to watch a teddy bear whip mark wahlberg's ass with a radio antennae. i wasn't the only one with suspended disbelief. the whole audience was roaring.
i'm with iustefan--the Witness Protection idea sounds promising. forget ludicrousness. you can't go too far. --s6
shakeysix is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-25-2012, 06:59 PM   #20
AllTheWine
up too late
 
AllTheWine's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Posts: 8
AllTheWine is on a distinguished road
Quote:
Originally Posted by Graz View Post
Yes, belly dancer named Jezebel maybe, jitterbug perfume does sound familiar.
I just realized I have this book on my shelf and I've never read it. It's getting bumped to the top of my TBR based on this conversation.

I love it when a writer can convince me to suspend disbelief. Salman Rushdie is especially good at presenting you with a very convincing, apparently truthful portrait of the world and then throwing in alternative histories or magic spells so subtly that I can practically see him winking as I read it.

What would you say constitutes Magical Realism? I think of "The Night Circus," "The Enchantress of Florence," "Little, Big," "The Magicians," ... although all of these books actually are about magic in the real world, so I guess I've either hit the nail on the head or over-simplified the topic...
AllTheWine is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-08-2012, 06:06 PM   #21
EddyJ
One day at a time, eh?
 
EddyJ's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Georgetown, Ontario
Posts: 201
EddyJ is well-respected
Quote:
Originally Posted by Iustefan View Post
You see to me that sounds like a fascinating idea, you should go back and salvage it and at least turn it into a short story and run even further. I think the key to writing like this, is keeping the emotions in check, and the characters the centerpiece which the world revolves around. If you make the 'concept' the centerpiece, and the characters are simply reacting to it then you've lost me. Make the 'ludicrous' things highlight the emotions, and draw out reality from the unreality. They won't feel ludicrous if the characters feel real and react to as real. Think Charlie Kaufman screenplays.

Good job on completing the manuscript though.
I just came upon this old thread, but I wanted to chime in and agree about the FBI department of creating witness protection: I think that could be a grand story. Thinking "Charlie Kaufman" is spot on. Could be great fun.
__________________
  • "Son of Jack Nasty"
  • "Fair"
  • See Literary SYW for short stories
"Cunnilingus and psychiatry brought us to this.



Tony Soprano
EddyJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-26-2012, 09:01 PM   #22
Overwined
figuring it all out
 
Overwined's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 54
Overwined is on a distinguished road
Just to throw a wrench in here, I think purposely forcing the reader to suspend their disbelief is a tool that some authors have used successfully. I think of Pynchon and DF Wallace. It's not an easy thing and only renowned authors can do it while still keeping the reader reading, but it adds an interesting layer to this conversation.
Overwined is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-2012, 01:14 AM   #23
tanyadavies
New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
 
tanyadavies's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 41
tanyadavies is on a distinguished road
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tinman View Post
I recently read two short stories. One, by a mid-list author, was about plastic bags that come to life and create a zombie-like apocalypse. The second was about genetically modified venus flytraps who could apparently converse telepathically and fall in love. I don't think any literary fiction asks a reader for that big of a leap lol.
Absolutely!
tanyadavies is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-2012, 01:15 AM   #24
tanyadavies
New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
 
tanyadavies's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 41
tanyadavies is on a distinguished road
Smile

Quote:
Originally Posted by Iustefan View Post
You see to me that sounds like a fascinating idea, you should go back and salvage it and at least turn it into a short story and run even further. I think the key to writing like this, is keeping the emotions in check, and the characters the centerpiece which the world revolves around. If you make the 'concept' the centerpiece, and the characters are simply reacting to it then you've lost me. Make the 'ludicrous' things highlight the emotions, and draw out reality from the unreality. They won't feel ludicrous if the characters feel real and react to as real. Think Charlie Kaufman screenplays.

Good job on completing the manuscript though.
I'm in too. Sounds like you have an audience for this. Personally I see it as a short story.
tanyadavies is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-2012, 10:54 AM   #25
blacbird
That hairy-handed gent
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Who ran amok in Kent
Posts: 28,896
blacbird is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsblacbird is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsblacbird is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsblacbird is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsblacbird is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsblacbird is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsblacbird is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsblacbird is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsblacbird is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsblacbird is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsblacbird is so great that we've run out of appropriate compliments
Quote:
Originally Posted by Orchestra View Post
You anglophones and your ridiculous literary divisions. A novel is a novel.
Try that line to convince an agent to represent your manuscript.

caw
__________________
Bugrit! Millennium hand and shrimp!
blacbird is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Custom Search

If this site is helpful to you,
Please consider a voluntary subscription to defray ongoing expenses.

Buy Scrivener 2 for Mac OS X (Regular Licence)


All times are GMT +4.5. The time now is 04:51 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.