Novel Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 1283 quotes )
NOVEL, n. A short story padded. A species of composition bearing the same relation to literature that the panorama bears to art. As it is too long to be read at a sitting the impressions made by its successive parts are successively effaced, as in the panorama. Unity, totality of effect, is impossible; for besides the few pages last read all that is carried in mind is the mere plot of what has gone before. To the romance the novel is what photography is to painting. Its distinguishing principle, probability, corresponds to the literal actuality of the photograph and puts it distinctly into the category of reporting; whereas the free wing of the romancer enables him to mount to such altitudes of imagination as he may be fitted to attain; and the first three essentials of the literary art are imagination, imagination and imagination. The art of writing novels, such as it was, is long dead everywhere except in Russia, where it is new. Peace to its ashes? some of which have a large sale.
Novels are forged in passion, demand fidelity and commitment, often drive you to boredom or rage, sleep with you at night. They are the long haul. They are marriage. Stories, on the other hand, you can lose yourself in for a few weeks and then wrap up, or grow tired of and abandon and (maybe) return to later. They can cuddle you sweetly, or make you get on your knees and beg.
Some junk novels were all about airports. Some junk novels were even called things like Airport. Why, then you might ask, was there no airport called Junk Novel? …Junk novels have been around for at least as long as non-junk novels, and airports haven’t been around for very long at all. But they both really took off at the same time. Readers of junk novels and people in airports wanted the same thing: escape, and quick transfer from one junk novel to another junk novel and from one airport to another airport.
There is an old-fashioned distinction between the novel of character and the novel of incident, which must have cost many a smile to the intending romancer who was keen about his work. It appears to me as little to the point as the equally celebrated distinction between the novel and the romance- to answer as little to any reality. There are bad novels and good novels, as there are bad pictures and good pictures; but that is the only distinction in which I see any meaning, and I can as little imagine speaking of a novel of character as I can imagine speaking of a picture of character. When one says picture, one says of character, when one says novel, one says of incident, and the terms may be transposed. What is character but the determination of incident? What is incident but the illustration of character? What is a picture or a novel that is not of character? What else do we seek in it and find in it?
...the novel had reached its apogee with the marriage plot and had never recovered from its disappearance. In the days when success in life had depended on marriage, and marriage had depended on money, novelists had had a subject to write about. The great epics sang of war, the novel of marriage. Sexual equality, good for women, had been bad for the novel. And divorce had undone it completely. What would it matter whom Emma married if she could file for separation later? How would Isabel Archer’s marriage to Gilbert Osmond have been affected by the existence of a prenup? As far as Saunders was concerned, marriage didn’t mean much anymore, and neither did the novel. Where could you find the marriage plot nowadays? You couldn’t. You had to read historical fiction. You had to read non-Western novels involving traditional societies. Afghani novels, Indian novels. You had to go, literarily speaking, back in time.
A novel is what you dream in your night sleep. A novel is not waking thoughts although it is written and thought with waking thoughts. But really a novel goes as dreams go in sleeping at night and some dreams are like anything and some dreams are like something and some dreams change and some dreams are quiet and some dreams are not. And some dreams are just what any one would do only a little different always just a little different and that is what a novel is.
It must take a lot of self-discipline,' she said.'Oh, I don't know. I don't have much.' He felt himself about to say again, and unable to resist saying, that 'Dumas, I think it was Dumas, some terrifically prolific Frenchman, said that writing novels is a simple matter - if you write one page a day, you'll write one novel a year, two pages a day, two novels a year, three pages, three novels, and so on. And how long does it take to cover a page with writing? Twenty minutes? An hour? So you see. Very easy really.' ("Novelty")'I don't know,' she said, laughing. 'I can't even bring myself to write a letter.''Oh, now that's hard.
...the experience of reading a novel has certain qualities that remind us of the traditional apprehension of mythology. It can be seen as a form of meditation. Readers have to live with a novel for days or even weeks. It projects them into another world, parallel to but apart from their ordinary lives. They know perfectly well that this fictional realm is not 'real' and yet while they are reading it becomes compelling. A powerful novel becomes part of the backdrop of our lives, long after we have laid the book asie. It is an exercise of make-believe that, like yoga or a religious festival, breaks down barriers of space and time and extends our sympathies, so that we are able to empathise with others lives and sorrows. It teaches compassion, the ability to 'feel with' others. And, like mythology, an important novel is transformative. If we allow it to do so, it can change us forever.
Yes, novels; for I will not adopt that ungenerous and impolitic custom, so common with novel-writers, of degrading, by their contemptuous censure, the very performances to the number of which they are themselves adding; joining with their greatest enemies in bestowing the harshest epithets on such works, and scarcely ever permitting them to be read by their own heroine, who, if she accidentally take up a novel, is sure to turn over its insipid pages with disgust. Alas! if the heroine of one novel be not patronised by the heroine of another, from whom can she expect protection and regard? I cannot approve of it. Let us leave it to the reviewers to abuse such effusions of fancy at their leisure, and over every new novel to talk in threadbare strains of the trash with which the press now groans. Let us not desert one another- we are an injured body.
The novel was born with the Modern Era, which made man, to quote Heidegger, the "only real subject," the ground for everything. It is largely through the novel that man as an individual was established on the European scene. Away from the novel, in our real lives, we know very little about our parents as they were before our birth; we have only fragmentary knowledge of the people close to us: we see them come and go and scarcely have they vanished than their place is taken over by others: they form a long line of replaceable beings. Only the novel separates out an individual, trains a light on his biography, his ideas, his feelings, makes him irreplaceable: makes him the center of everything.