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124 REVIEWS 1. Some Packaged Comments on the Novel For some years now anthologies and casebooks have made available convenient packages of novelists' and critics' comments on the novel. Derek Versehoyle's THE ENGLISH NOVELISTS: A SURVEY OF THE NOVEL BY TOENTY CONTEMPORARY NOVELISTS (1936) Is useful Insofar as It provides some insights by practicing novelists on the work and mentality of some other novelists. This collection, however, is very uneven, many of the pieces being little more than inconsequential appreciations or safe reminiscences. Walter Allen's WRITERS ON WRITING (1948), while it contains some Interesting tidbits, has the shortcomings of most such collections of fragments however cleverly organized. It has some usefulness as a reference book which might lead a serious student to the original sources of the quoted snippets. Miriam Allott's NOVELISTS ON THE NOVEL (1959), of these earlier collections , is perhaps one of the best. Again, the passages she reproduces are often too brief, and, taken out of context, sometimes not truly representative of the author's fully developed idea to be safely entrusted to undergraduates. More recently, four more collections in the same or in a similar vein have been published . Louis Kronenberger's NOVELISTS ON NOVELISTS (NY: Doubleday [Anchor A 293], 1962. $1.45) Includes critical pieces, "reminiscences, character sketches, personal estimates, memorial tributes, and short reviews of work as it emerged." In other words, Mr. Kronenberger provides a little bit of everything for almost everyone. The 28 selections vary considerably in length from about 4 pages to about 50; many of them are complete. Although there are essays on WIlIa Cather, Ring Lardner, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Stephen Crane, and Melville, there are none on Mark Twain and Hawthorne; there are essays on Defoe, Trollope, and Bennett, but there are none on Fielding, Richardson, Emily Bronte, Wells, Moore, and Ford Madox Ford; there are two essays each on Turgenev and Dostoievsky, none on Balzac and Thomas Mann, and only one each on Stendhal, Zola, Proust, and Joyce. The principle of selection, it seems to me, is rather difficult to determine. Nevertheless , this collection, badly printed and having margins varying from about 1/8 to 1/4 inch, does bring together a large number of essays by novelists on novelists, many of them containing perceptive Insights. Robert ScHoles' APPROACHES TO THE NOVEL: MATERIAL FOR A POETICS (San Francisco: Chandler, I96I. $1.95) reprints significant essays by some of the most important critics of fiction on theories of fiction and on critical principles. It contains a few frequently reprinted pieces: Lubbock on "Picture, Drama, and Point of View," Forster on "The Plot," James on "The Art of Fiction." However, Scholes also reprints important work by such critics as Erich Auerbach, Northrop Frye, Ian Watt, Norman Friedman, R. S. Crane, Austin Warren, Lionel Trilling, Mark Schorer, and Irving Howe. This makes for a collection of considerable variety and scope and, I think, on the whole a very useful book. Eugene Current-Garcia and Walton R. Patrick's REALISM AND ROMANTICISM: AN APPROACH TO THE NOVEL (Chicago: Scott, Foresmaft, I962. $3.10) is more nearly a conventional case study text. The introductory 37 pages give a synopsis of the history of the 125 novel from Cervantes to about Henry James, with a quick squint In the direction of Wolfe, Faulkner, Hemingway, and others, generally with emphasis on the thesis of the book: the struggle in the history of the novel between realism and romanticism . The chief difficulty here, as might be expected, is the oversimplification of what is involved in applying the two key terms and the fact that few of the writers who serve the purpose of the book's idea really make significant contributions to the novel or to criticism. On the other hand, it is good to see in print Walter Besant's 'The Art of Fiction" beside Henry James' essay. There are 13 essays In various ways bearing on the realism-romanticism controversy and there is a "Bibliography of Additional Essays," mainly listing articles published between 1880 and 1912. in addition, there is a selected bibliography of articles and books, chiefly of those published during the past fifteen or twenty years, and in the...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1559-2715
Print ISSN
0013-8339
Pages
pp. 124-125
Launched on MUSE
2010-05-21
Open Access
No
Archive Status
Archived
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