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Quote Unquote [5]

We thought that we might take time today to characterize our first author’s work in some way by using quotes from famous authors. Here is a sampling of such quotes. One of these will surely hit the mark, but to include as many potential readers’ reactions as possible, we have tried to bracket the field of opinion—and we leave the choice of picking the right quote to our readers.

A novel is a mirror that strolls along a highway. Now it reflects the blue of the skies, now the mud puddles underfoot. [Stendhal, The Red and the Black, 1830]

The only reason for the existence of a novel is that it does attempt to represent life. [Henry James, The Art of Fiction, 1888]

[A novel by Henry James] is like a church lit but without a congregation to distract you, with every light and line focused on the high altar. And on the altar, very reverently placed, intensely there, is a dead kitten, an egg-shell, a bit of string. [Herbert George Wells, Boon, 1915]

I would sooner read a timetable or a catalogue than nothing at all. They are much more entertaining than half the novels that are written. [William Somerset Maugham, The Summing Up, 1938]

You can declare at the very start that it’s impossible to write a novel nowadays, but then, behind your back, so to speak, give birth to a whopper, a novel to end all novels. [Günther Grass, The Tin Drum, 1959]


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