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.
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
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
There is not one big cosmic meaning for all ; there is only the meaning we each give to our life, an individual meaning, an individual plot, like an individual novel, a book for each person.
A novel is balanced between a few true impressions and the multitude of false ones that make up most of what we call life.Saul Bellow
Just as the camera draws a stake through the heart of serious portraiture, television has killed the novel of social reportage.jonathan franzen
Do not start me on The Da Vinci Code ... a novel so bad that it gives bad novels a bad name. ... Even Dan Brown must live. Preferably not write, but live.dan brown
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
The nineteenth century will colonize; so, in its fantasies, did the nineteenth century soul. When Emma [Bovary] turns spendthrift and buys curtains, carpets and hangings from the draper, the information takes on something from the theme of the novel itself: the material is a symbol of the exotic, and the exotic feeds the Romantic appetite. It will lead to satiety, bankruptcy and eventually to nihilism and the final drive towards death and nothingness.v. s pritchett
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.
As for 'story' I never yet did enjoy a novel or play in which someone didn't tell me afterward that there was something wrong with the story, so that's going to be no drawback as far as I'm concerned. "Good Lord, why am I so bored" "I know; it must be the plot developing harmoniously." So I often reply to myself, and there rises before me my special nightmare that of the writer as craftsman, natty and deft.e. m. forster
Goethe said, “The author whom a lexicon can keep up with is worth nothing”; Somerset Maugham says that the finest compliment he ever received was a letter in which one of his readers said: “I read your novel without having to look up a single word in the dictionary.” These writers, plainly, lived in different worlds.Randall Jarrell
Somewhere In Time is the story of a love which transcends time , What Dreams May Come is the story of a love which transcends death . ... I feel that they represent the best writing I have done in the novel form.richard matheson
In a revolution, as in a novel, the most difficult part to invent is the end.alexis de tocqueville
No one says a novel has to be one thing. It can be anything it wants to be, a vaudeville show, the six o’clock news, the mumblings of wild men saddled by demons.
Someone ought to write a novel about me, ”said Lebedeva loftily.“ I shouldn’t care if they lied to make it more interesting, as long as they were good lies, full of kisses and daring escapes and the occasional act of barbarism. I can’t abide a poor liar.
Punning on the typographical and literary meaning of the word “character” and exploiting the resemblance of the “word” with “world”, Moore has identified the purpose of transpositions like this which continue throughout the novel: I was inspired by the idea of anagram , which is the rearrangement of characters to make new worlds.