Fertilizing Frankness

“It is a proof of life and curiosity—curiosity on the part of the brotherhood of novelists, as well as on the part of their readers.”

Henry James, “The Art of Fiction,” in Longman’s Magazine 4 (September 1884), 1.

Notes: novels/art imitating life. fiction-induced curiosity. learning through fiction. communal learning.


Art lives upon discussion, upon experiment, upon curiosity, upon variety of attempt, upon the exchange of views and the comparison of standpoints; and there is a presumption that those times when no one has anything particular to say about it, and has no reason to give for practice or preference, though they may be times of genius, are not times of development, are times possibly even, a little, of dulness.

Henry James, “The Art of Fiction,” 1.

Notes: art = changing perspectives. art not changing perspectives = brilliant yet boring.

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