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.
It makes me itchy, this wry fatalism, but it doesn't make me itch nearly as much as the heroes of so many other modern novels for whom stalking the savage libido is more fun than kinship or community; who will leave town either to find their callow selves, as if they'd lost anything important, or, more transgressively, to kill a bear, a bull, a whale, a unicorn, a hippogriff, a signifier or, preferably, their fathers.john leonard
The glittering structure of her cultivation sits on her novels like a rather showy icing that detracts from the cake beneath.Louis Stanton Auchincloss
All novels are about certain minorities: the individual is a minority.
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
If there's a stack [of novels to review], the unpromising stuff goes at the top and the promising stuff goes at the bottom. That way, I am eager to finish Overwrought Romantic Mary Sue Fantasy because I know that will let me read Niche Product That Only the Author, James and Some Guy at JPL Likes.james nicoll
But the novels of women were not affected only by the necessarily narrow range of the writer's experience. They showed, at least in the nineteenth century, another characteristic which may be traced to the writer's sex. In Middlemarch and in Jane Eyre we are conscious not merely of the writer's character, as we are conscious of the character of Charles Dickens, but we are conscious of a woman's presence of someone resenting the treatment of her sex and pleading for its rights.virginia woolf
I have always had the greatest contempt for novels written with a purpose. Fiction should render, not draw morals. But?I sinned against my gods to the extent of saying that I was goingto the level of the light vouchsafed meto write a work that should have for its purpose the obviating of all future wars.
Do your bit to save humanity from lapsing back into barbarity by reading all the novels you can.Richard Arthur Warren Hughes
I write short stories. They may appear big in size, but when you consider it, they're four or five novels in one. ... In return for picking up one of my books, I'm trying to give them value for their money. ... the goal of writing any book is to create the illusion that what you are reading is reality and you're part of it.james clavell
In the age of the concentration camp, when from 1935 to 1947 or so, she wrote her very best novels, no writer did more to illumine the springs of human cruelty, suffering and bravery.ivy compton-burnett
Much like the French (or like ourselves, their apes),Who with strange habit do disguise their shapes;Who loving novels, full of affectation,Receive the manners of each other nation.guillaume de salluste du bartas
No one goes to the toilet in novels. You'd think none of us had bladders.Germaine Greer
The solution, once revealed, must seem to have been inevitable. At least half of all the mystery novels published violate this law.Raymond Chandler
Showed me pictures in the gallery Showed me novels on the shelf Put my hands across the table Gave me knowledge of myself. Showed me visions, showed me nightmares Gave me dreams that never end Showed me light out of the tunnel When there was darkness all around instead.van morrison
In science he could see nothing useful to mankind. ...He advised the scientist the surgeon the teacher and the artist to go and live as the poor live and try to minister to their actual wants instead of counting up insects chemically analyzing the contents of the Milky Way painting water nymphs and historical pictures writing novels and composing symphonies.
He shivered. His coat was thin, and it was obvious he would not get his kiss, which he found puzzling. The manly heroes of the penny dreadfuls and shilling novels never had these problems getting kissed.
Sir, ’said Stephen,‘ I read novels with the utmost pertinacity. I look upon them--I look upon good novels--as a very valuable part of literature, conveying more exact and finely-distinguished knowledge of the human heart and mind than almost any other, with greater breadth and depth and fewer constraints.”
Life is painful and disappointing. It is useless, therefore, to write new realistic novels. We generally know where we stand in relation to reality and don’t care to know any more.”
"The contingency is remote." (This is also a Jeeves quote in the PG Wodehouse novels)jack vance
novels so often provide an anodyne and not an antidote, glide one into torpid slumbers instead of rousing one with a burning brand.virginia woolf
novels for me are how I find out what's going on in my own head. And so that's a really useful and indeed critical thing to do when you do as many of these other things as I do.
novels are about other people and poems are about yourselfphilip larkin