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The Author's Craft   By: (1867-1931)

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First Page:

THE AUTHOR'S CRAFT

By

ARNOLD BENNETT

WORKS BY ARNOLD BENNETT

NOVELS

A Man from the North Anna of the Five Towns Leonora A Great Man Sacred and Profane Love Whom God hath Joined Buried Alive The Old Wives' Tale The Glimpse Helen with the High Hand Clayhanger The Card Hilda Lessways The Regent

FANTASIAS

The Grand Babylon Hotel The Gates of Wrath Teresa of Watling Street The Loot of Cities Hugo The Ghost The City of Pleasure

SHORT STORIES

Tales of the Five Towns The Grim Smile of the Five Towns The Matador of the Five Towns

BELLES LETTRES

Journalism for Women Fame and Fiction How to become an Author The Reasonable Life How to Live on Twenty Four Hours a Day The Human Machine Literary Taste The Feast of St Friend Those United States The Plain Man and His Wife Paris Nights

DRAMA

Polite Farces Cupid and Common Sense What the Public Wants The Honeymoon The Great Adventure

( In Collaboration with EDEN PHILLPOTTS ) The Sinews of War: A Romance The Statue: A Romance

( In Collaboration with EDWARD KNOBLAUCH ) Milestones: A Play

THE AUTHOR'S CRAFT

By

ARNOLD BENNETT

HODDER AND STOUGHTON LONDON NEW YORK TORONTO

Printed in 1914

CONTENTS

PART I. SEEING LIFE

PART II. WRITING NOVELS

PART III. WRITING PLAYS

PART IV. THE ARTIST AND THE PUBLIC

PART I

SEEING LIFE

I

A young dog, inexperienced, sadly lacking in even primary education, ambles and frisks along the footpath of Fulham Road, near the mysterious gates of a Marist convent. He is a large puppy, on the way to be a dog of much dignity, but at present he has little to recommend him but that gawky elegance, and that bounding gratitude for the gift of life, which distinguish the normal puppy. He is an ignorant fool. He might have entered the convent of nuns and had a fine time, but instead he steps off the pavement into the road, the road being a vast and interesting continent imperfectly explored. His confidence in his nose, in his agility, and in the goodness of God is touching, absolutely painful to witness. He glances casually at a huge, towering vermilion construction that is whizzing towards him on four wheels, preceded by a glint of brass and a wisp of steam; and then with disdain he ignores it as less important than a mere speck of odorous matter in the mud. The next instant he is lying inert in the mud. His confidence in the goodness of God had been misplaced. Since the beginning of time God had ordained him a victim.

An impressive thing happens. The motor bus reluctantly slackens and stops. Not the differential brake, nor the foot brake, has arrested the motor bus, but the invisible brake of public opinion, acting by administrative transmission. There is not a policeman in sight. Theoretically, the motor 'bus is free to whiz onward in its flight to the paradise of Shoreditch, but in practice it is paralysed by dread. A man in brass buttons and a stylish cap leaps down from it, and the blackened demon who sits on its neck also leaps down from it, and they move gingerly towards the puppy. A little while ago the motor bus might have overturned a human cyclist or so, and proceeded nonchalant on its way. But now even a puppy requires a post mortem: such is the force of public opinion aroused. Two policemen appear in the distance.

"A street accident" is now in being, and a crowd gathers with calm joy and stares, passive and determined. The puppy offers no sign whatever; just lies in the road. Then a boy, destined probably to a great future by reason of his singular faculty of initiative, goes to the puppy and carries him by the scruff of the neck, to the shelter of the gutter. Relinquished by the boy, the lithe puppy falls into an easy horizontal attitude, and seems bent upon repose. The boy lifts the puppy's head to examine it, and the head drops back wearily... Continue reading book >>




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