Henry James `Theories of Fiction

Essay by noone January 2005

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The Art of Fiction and James `s Theories of fiction

Henry James `essay The Art of Fiction is a first -hand account of how one of American `s ( and England `s) most prolific writers felt about fiction and writing in general.

James can be considered one of the utmost authorities on writing as he made writing a life - long habit: for over 50 years he wrote daily.

One of the most themes that permeate The Art of Fiction is the freedom that the author must have to express himself, and the necessity of that freedom before one may criticize the work.

" A novel is in its broadest sense a personal , a direct impression of life : that , to being with , constitutes it's value , which is greater less according to the intensity of the impression .but there will be no intensity at all , and therefore no value, unless there is freedom to feel and say".

"the advantage , the luxury , as well as the torment and responsibility of the novelist, is that there is no limit to what he may attempt as executing - no limit to his possible experiments , efforts, discoveries, successes"

Reading criticism , James notes that there will always be critics because there is no perfect guidelines for fiction, as many readers desire different things from their reading.

"I needn`t reminds you that there are all sorts of testes: who can know it better? Some people, for excellent reason don't like to read about courtesans...some readers don't quiet subjects, some don't like bustling ones"

James expects very little from the author, just that he/ she takes some risks. He criticizes Gustauve Flaubert in The Art of Fiction because his work does not connect human nature. He also warns...