book cover of Some Principles of Fiction

Some Principles of Fiction

(1953)
A non fiction book by

 
 
Excerpt from Some Principles of Fiction

Any general examination of the novelist's art must appear arid and theoretical. It cannot fail to be directed towards the more formal elements in that art, while criticism of individual novelists can deal more adequately with the life they are trying to create. A book of this sort is doomed to appear excessively schematic, and some people may object that profitable things can be said about this or that novel, but hardly about the Novel; for as Lawrence said: 'all rules of construction hold good only for novels that are copies of other novels'.

That a great many things cannot be said in a book of this sort must be obvious to anyone who has ever given any thought to the novel. One can isolate for the purpose of analysis such an element as Plot, for instance but in many novels that do not lack unity, the principle of cohesion is something we cannot call Plot, something to which we cannot do justice except in individual studies of these books or of their authors.

But though much must be left unsaid, something' can be said and a generalization may be useful even if it does not cover every instance. One of the purposes of such an examina tion is to help writers; and it is very difficult indeed to help writers except over formal problems. The only useful help many writers have ever given or received has been over small points such as punctuation, or the phrasing of a sentence.

The present book deals with other aspects of the novel than those dealt with in my former treatise. It aspires only to an internal consistency. It is not a correction or a defence or amust sometimes mention.

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Used availability for Robert Liddell's Some Principles of Fiction

Hardback Editions

January 1974 : USA Hardback
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Title: Some principles of fiction
Author(s): Robert Liddell
ISBN: 0-8371-6764-7 / 978-0-8371-6764-0 (USA edition)
Publisher: Greenwood Press
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