It took me years to ascertain that Henry James' work was giving me little pleasure: In each case I ask myself: "What the dickens is this novel about, and where does it think it's going to?" Question unanswerable! I gave up. To-day I have no recollection whatever of any characters of any events in either novel.
The big contemporary novel is a perpetual motion machine that appears to have been embarrassed into velocity. It seems to want to abolish stillness, as if ashamed of silence. Stories and sub-stories sprout on every page, and these novels continually flourish their glamorous congestion.james wood
Have the courage to analyze great emotions to create characters who shall be lofty and true. The whole art of the analytical novel lies there.paul bourget
When I finally got tired of arguing with her and decided to write a novel as if I was some kind of formulaic, genre writing drone, just to prove to her how awful it would be, I wrote the first book of the Dresden Files.jim butcher
Light in tone, the novel [Murphy] is Beckett’s response to the therapeutic orthodoxy that the patient should learn to engage with the larger world on the world’s terms.j. m. coetzee
I had been virtually a Unitarian (as I still am) but without knowing it. The experience of being among Unitarians who did know what they were, and attached much importance to it, was entirely novel to me, but I soon fell into their ways and found it easy to go forward on their road, the more so because the other roads became closed to me.l. p. jacks
Suspending moral judgment is not the immorality of the novel; it is its morality. The morality that stands against the ineradicable human habit of judging instantly, ceaselessly, and everyone; of judging before, and in the absence of, understanding. From the viewpoint of the novel’s wisdom, that fervid readiness to judge is the most detestable stupidity, the most pernicious evil.Milan Kundera
In this crucial sense, the theory of punctuated equilibrium adopts a very conservative position. The theory asserts no novel claim about modes or mechanisms of speciation; punctuated equilibrium merely takes a standard microevolutionary model and elucidates its expected expression when properly scaled into geological time.stephen jay gould
Sappho is a great poet because she is a lesbian, which gives her erotic access to the Muse. Sappho and the homosexual-tending Emily Dickinson stand alone above women poets, because poetry's mystical energies are ruled by a hierach requiring the sexual subordination of her petitioners. Women have achieved more as novelists than as poets because the social novel operates outside the ancient marriage of myth and eroticism.camille paglia
How curious, after all, is the way in which we moderns think about our world! And it is all so novel, too. The cosmology underlying our mental processes is but three centuries old a mere infant in the history of thought and yet we cling to it with the same embarrassed zeal with which a young father fondles his new-born baby.
I thought that writing a detective story would be a wonderful apprenticeship because, whatever people tell you, a crime novel is not easy to write well. As I continued with my craft I became increasingly fascinated by the form and realized that you can use the formula to say something true about men and women and the society in which they live.
Between history and the novel stands biography, their unwanted offspring, which has brought a great embarrassment to them both.Michael de Courcy Fraser Holroyd
Landscape is to American painting what sex and psychoanalysis are to the American novel.
The detective novel is?the classic example of a specialized form of art removed from contact with the life it pretends to build on.
But now, coming to your shameless assertion that ministers of the altar should be allowed to marry, I consider it superfluous to unsheathe the sword of my own words against you, since we see the armed forces of the whole Church and the massed array of all the holy Fathers ready to resist you. And where so great a host of heavenly troops opposes you, one can only wonder that your novel and rash attempt at doctrine does not submit when confronted by such authority.peter damian
There is a part of me in every character, naturally. That's why novelists rarely write good autobiographies. You start one and it becomes another novel - bound to.john dos passos
Some people didn't like the novel, it is in some ways extremely bleak. But if you are dealing with the kind of subjects I am trying to demystify the delusions we have about ourselves, to get a more accurate fix on human nature then people are unsettled. And the easiest way to deal with that is to say it's weird or it's cold.j. g. ballard
Very little comes easily to our poor, benighted species (the first creature, after all, to experiment with the novel evolutionary inventions of self-conscious philosophy and art). Even the most “obvious,” “accurate,” and “natural” style of thinking or drawing must be regulated by history and won by struggle. Solutions must therefore arise within a social context and record the complex interactions of mind and environment that define the possibility of human improvement.stephen jay gould
It is rare for a novel to have an ending as good as its middle and beginning...Randall Jarrell
I have never known a novel that was good enough to be good in spite of its being adapted to the author’s political views.edith wharton
It has been well said that an author who expects results from a first novel is in a position similar to that of a man who drops a rose petal down the Grand Canyon of Arizona and listens for the echo.
Sensation is the seeking of varied, novel , complex and intense sensations and experiences , and the willingness to take physical , social , legal , and financial risks for the sake of such experiences.
What I love about fiction is the way this form of expression allows an author to wrestle an idea to the ground, as opposed to the bumper-sticker dialectics that pass for political and philosophical discourse in most sectors of our culture. In the age of mass communication, we need the quiet, contemplative and often ambiguous medium of the novel more than ever.
Create and save customized flash cards. Sign up today and start improving your vocabulary!