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Heroines Of Fiction Parts One And Two
by W D Howells
Binding: Paperback, 672 pages
Publisher: Kessinger Publishing, LLC
Weight: 1.85 pound
Dimension: H: 0.75 x L: 8.9 x W: 0.5 inches
ISBN 10: 1417953519
ISBN 13: 9781417953516
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Book Description:
Purchase of this book includes free trial access to www.million where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: VARIATIONS OF READE'S TYPE OF HEROINES THE absence of anything like a philosophic criticism in England must account for the antics and aberrations of English novelists who were greatly gifted but wholly undisciplined, and who let themselves go to the bounds of their eccentricities because they were aware of no law that they need stand in fear of. Several of the greatest, like Jane Austen, Anthony Trollope, Thomas Hardy, and George Moore, have been so admirably tempered by nature that they could not help being artists, worthy of any Continental school, amidst the prevailing aesthetic anarchy of their native island, where there is no school, where criticism is arbitrary and personal, where there are no ideals, but only standards; no principles, but only preferences. I have to note the lamentable results of these conditions in the case of nearly all the English novelists except those I have named; in the case of such a novelist as Charles Reade, a powerful but most wilful talent, they are comically disastrous; the final complexion of their tragedy is bouffe. Charles Reade was as nobly intentioned as any novelist who has written; he imagined his vocation to be painting truly from nature; to be, as Mr. James defines the office of fiction, the representation of life. Yet for want of a principled criticism he could never understand that the painter has no business in the picture, the dramatist has no business on the stage. He is forever at your elbow as you read, audibly directing your attention to this and that surprising fact; winking to you, sticking his tongue in his cheek, and clucking to make you notice. He is not as bad as Thackeray, who spoils the illusion by whispering you that the whole thing is make believe; he is faithful to his own fancy, at least; but he is of a worse...

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