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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 main written by professional critics rather than by writers involved in the controversy at its height. The last section of the book is made up of four short novels with one or more critical essays on each. The novels are: Stevenson's THE PAVILiON ON THE LlNKS5 James' WASHINGTON SQUARE, Crane's GEORGE'S MOTHER, and Porter's NOON WINE, This rather expensive paperback, with its sketchy survey of the development of the novel, its essays on the real ism-romantic ism controversy, its four short illustrative novels, and the critical comments on these novels, attempts too much with material of rather middling quality. By far the best of this new crop of paperback packages is Howaird E. Hugo's ASPECTS OF FICTION: A HAND BOOK (Boston: Little, Brown, 1962). As in the Current-Garcia and Patrick text, many of the essays, reaching as far back as Fielding, Smollett, Diderot, Mme. de Stael, Friedrich Schlogel, and others, deal with romance and realism in the novel. These essays, however, provide a wider historical scope, they revea! more adequately the complexity of theories of the novel, and there are qualitatively more first-rate essays. Perhaps the chief mark of excellence In this anthology, besides the excellence of selection, is the fact that many essays by Continental writers not readily available in English are here brought together, many of them translated by Mr. Hugo. Thus, among others, we have a passage from Diderot's 'in Praise of Richardson," Mme, de Stael's conclusion from ESSAY ON THE ART OF FICTiON, a selection from Manzoni's ON THE HISTORICAL NOVEL, a selection from Zola's THE EXPERIMENTAL NOVEL, and Alain Robbe-Grlllet's "Old 'Values' and the New Novel." The selections touch on such subjects as realism and romance, psychological portraiture, morality and the novel, history and the novel, science and the novel, naturalism, impressionism, point of view, dramatic structure, stream of consciousness, the "Beat" manifesto, Existentialism and the novel. The volume ends with a section of brief biographical notes and a glossary of terms often used In discussions of the novel. I cannot imagine a better supplementary text of this kind for the Continente] and British novel courses. Mr. Hugo is tc be congratulated on providing a very fine text unhampered by the usual burden of gimmicks. Purdue University H. E. Gerber 2. H. G. V/ells. MEANVJTfILE. Second Edition. London: Senn. 1962. 16s. Wells describes his own method of writing in MEANWHILE (1927) when he has one of his characters say in a letter, "People talk about 'writing' and I've always thought before it meant purple patches and lovely words, but this sort of thing 126 also is writing; driving ten topics in a team together—and getting somewhere, getting through doors and narrow places and home to where you want to go." (P. 137) Essentially this is what V/ells attempts to do—drive several topics at once, a technique he developed at least as early as TONO-BUNGAY (1909). In MEANWHILE he touches briefly on various political, economic, religious, spiritual, philosophical , and marital problems faced by a young married couple, jumping lightly from one topic to the next as they arise in the...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1559-2715
Print ISSN
0013-8339
Pages
pp. 125-126
Launched on MUSE
2010-05-21
Open Access
No
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