The Art of Fiction Summary - The Art of Fiction Summary -

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The first book "caused something of an uproar in Jamesian circles" [22] as it challenged the previous received notion of celibacy, a once-familiar paradigm in biographies of homosexuals when direct evidence was non-existent.

Critics must judge works by the standards the artists have established. They do not indict society for these situations: It was the second-written of the books, The Wings of the Dove that was the first published because it attracted no serialization.

This is perhaps too often lost sight of, only to produce interminable confusions and cross-purposes.


No need to write in any other form; writing book reviews is quite enough. James was particularly interested in what he called the "beautiful and blest nouvelle", or the longer form of short narrative.

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All life belongs to you, and don't listen either to those who would shut you up into corners of it and tell you that it is only here and there that art inhabits, or to those who would persuade you that this heavenly messenger wings her way outside of life altogether, breathing a superfine air and turning away her head from the truth of things.

They choose their novels accordingly, and if they don't care about your idea they won't, a fortiori, care about your treatment. Art lives upon discussion, upon experiment, upon curiosity, upon variety of attempt, upon the exchange of views and the comparison of standpoints; and there is a presumption that those times when no one has anything particular to say about it, and has no reason to give for practice or preference, though they may be times of genius, are not times of development, are times possibly even, a little, of dulness.

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Roderick Hudson, superbly gifted but unstable and unreliable; Rowland Mallet, Roderick's limited but much more mature friend and patron; and Christina Light, one of James's most enchanting and maddening femmes fatales.

What kind of experience is intended, and where does it begin and end? There Henry became a friend of the painter John La Fargewho introduced him to French literature, and in particular, to Balzac.

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It must be admitted that good novels are somewhat compromised by bad ones, and that the field, at large, suffers discredit from overcrowding. I mention this to guard myself from the accusation of intimating that the idea, the subject, of a novel or a picture, does not matter.

The novel and the romance, the novel of incident and that of character—these clumsy separations appear to me to have been made by critics and readers for their own convenience.

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There is one point at which the moral sense and the artistic sense lie very near together; that is, in the light of the very obvious truth that the deepest quality of a work of art will always be the quality of the mind of the producer.

In proportion as that mind is rich and noble will the novel, the picture, the statue, partake of the substance of beauty and truth. Besant demands for the work of the novelist may be represented, a trifle less abstractly, by saying that he demands not only that it shall be reputed artistic, but that it shall be reputed very artistic indeed.

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There he met again with Zola, Daudet, and Goncourt. The third period of James's career reached its most significant achievement in three novels published just around the start of the 20th century: Catching the very note and trick, the strange irregular rhythm of life, that is the attempt whose strenuous force keeps Fiction upon her feet.

His father was intelligent, steadfastly congenial, and a lecturer and philosopher who had inherited independent means from his father, an Albany banker and investor. The case is the same with another shadowy category, which Mr.

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Above all, however, she was blessed with the faculty which when you give it an inch takes an ell, and which for the artist is a much greater source of strength than any accident of residence or of place in the social scale.

As for the aberrations of a shallow optimism, the ground of English fiction especially is strewn with their brittle particles as with broken glass.

Selection will be sure to take care of itself, for it has a constant motive behind it.

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What is character but the determination of Henry james essay art fiction If we pretend to respect the artist at all we must allow him his freedom of choice, in the face, in particular cases, of innumerable presumptions that the choice will not fructify.

A novel is in its broadest definition a personal, a direct impression of life. It Online std dating sites be absurdly simple if he could be taught that a great deal of "description" would make them so, or that, on the contrary, the absence of description and the cultivation of dialogue, or the absence of dialogue and the multiplication of "incident," would rescue him from his difficulties.

Even as recently as the s, if a reader wished to read a review of a particular book, perhaps one, two or three reviews could be located in newspapers or magazines.