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 have met with women whom I really think would liketo be married to a poem, and to be given away by a novel.john keats
Think of the heroism of Johnson, think of that superb indifference to mortal limitation that set him upon his dictionary, and carried him through triumphantly until the end! Who, if he were wisely considerate of things at large, would ever embark upon any work much more considerable than a halfpenny post-card? Who would project a serial novel, afterThackeray and Dickens had each fallen in mid-course? Who would find heart enough to begin to live, if he dallied with the consideration of death?Robert Louis Stevenson
A novel is balanced between a few true impressions and the multitude of false ones that make up most of what we call life. It tells us that for every human being there is a diversity of existences, that the single existence is itself an illusion in part, that these many existences signify something, tend to something, fulfill something; it promises us meaning, harmony, and even justice.Saul Bellow
Our understanding of the four basic concepts of Physics -- space, time, matter and force -- has undergone radical change in the course of work on unification, starting with Maxwell's unification of electricity with magnetism, all the way to present day string theory. What started as four independent concepts, with space and time postulated and the possible forms of matter and force arbitrarily chosen, now appear as different aspects of a rich and novel dynamically determined structure.peter freund
Every fall I imagine once again that something wonderful will happen at a party. This is like imagining that the telephone book will prove to be a wonderful novel.john leonard
...Far beyond the confines of a novel; at a single stroke he invented and perfected a new form. No man could write the gigantic story that lies behind 'Company K,' but William March, by a brilliant refinement of form, has given us its essence and its broad sweep, flashes of its intensity and rich variety.william march
In 'pure' instrumental music, the strategies chosen by composers to create unity were responsive to the tenets of Romanticism...Even in the absence of an explicit program, motivic continuity created a kind of narrative coherence. Like the chief character in a novel, the 'fortunes' of the main motive – its development, variation, and encounters with other 'protagonists' – served as a source of constancy throughout the unfolding of the musical process.leonard b. meyer
A good novel tells us the truth about its hero; but a bad novel tells us the truth about its author.gilbert keith chesterton
The more you realize that most judgements are greatly influenced by random, extraneous factors that most people judging you are more like a fickle novel buyer than a wise and perceptive magistrate the more you realize you can do things to influence the outcome.paul graham
...“originality” is everyone’s aim, and novel techniques are as much prized as new scientific discoveries. [T.S.] Eliot states it with surprising naïveté: “It is exactly as wasteful for a poet to do what has been done already as for a biologist to rediscover Mendel’s discoveries.”Randall Jarrell
My current novel, Pallas , is all about that culture war - in fact it's been called the Uncle Tom's Cabin of the Sagebrush Rebellion - and yet what I hear all too often from libertarians is that they don't read fiction.l. neil smith
This in turn suggests an answer to our question: what happened between the birth of De Sade and the birth of Krafft-Ebbing? The rise of the novel taught Europe to use its imagination. And when imagination was applied to sex, the result was the rise of pornography -- and of "sexual perversion."colin wilson
A final argument for broad freedom of expression is its effect on the character of individuals in a society. Citizens in a free society must have courage the courage to hear not only unwelcome political speech but novel and shocking ideas in science and the arts.anthony lewis
[on an unnamed book] This is not a novel to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force.
I am no novel reader – I seldom look into novels - Do not imagine that I often read novels - It is only very well for a novel.
No matter how ephemeral it is, a novel is something, while despair is nothing.
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