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Materials and Methods of Fiction With an Introduction by Brander Matthews   By: (1881-1946)

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First Page:

[Translator's Notes: Original spelling and punctuation were retained, with the following exceptions. On page 3, 'a mind native and indued to actuality' was corrected to 'a mind native and induced to actuality'; on page 15 'but who have have been discarded' to 'but who have been discarded'; on page 21 'The kindgom of adventure' to 'The kingdom of adventure'; and on page 91 'The Master of Ballantræ' to 'The Master of Ballantrae' to match all other instances of this word. On page 227, the one instance of 'A Humble Rèmonstrance' was corrected to 'A Humble Remonstrance' to match the other instances. The oe ligature is represented by '[oe]']

MATERIALS AND METHODS OF FICTION

BY

CLAYTON HAMILTON

WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY BRANDER MATTHEWS

THE CHAUTAUQUA PRESS CHAUTAUQUA, NEW YORK

1911

Copyright, 1908, by

THE BAKER AND TAYLOR COMPANY

Published, May, 1908

TO

FREDERIC TABER COOPER WITH ADMIRATION FOR THE CRITIC WITH AFFECTION FOR THE FRIEND

CONTENTS

CHAPTER PAGE

INTRODUCTION ix

I THE PURPOSE OF FICTION 1

II REALISM AND ROMANCE 23

III THE NATURE OF NARRATIVE 42

IV PLOT 58

V CHARACTERS 75

VI SETTING 97

VII THE POINT OF VIEW IN NARRATIVE 117

VIII EMPHASIS IN NARRATIVE 136

IX THE EPIC, THE DRAMA, AND THE NOVEL 153

X THE NOVEL, THE NOVELETTE, AND THE SHORT STORY 168

XI THE STRUCTURE OF THE SHORT STORY 184

XII THE FACTOR OF STYLE 201

INDEX 221

INTRODUCTION

I

In our time, in these early years of the twentieth century, the novel is the prosperous parvenu of literature, and only a few of those who acknowledge its vogue and who laud its success take the trouble to recall its humble beginnings and the miseries of its youth. But like other parvenus it is still a little uncertain of its position in the society in which it moves. It is a newcomer in the literary world; and it has the self assertiveness and the touchiness natural to the situation. It brags of its descent, although its origins are obscure. It has won its way to the front and it has forced its admission into circles where it was formerly denied access. It likes to forget that it was once but little better than an outcast, unworthy of recognition from those in authority. Perhaps it is still uneasily conscious that not a few of those who were born to good society may look at it with cold suspicion as though it was still on sufferance.

Story telling has always been popular, of course; and the desire is deep rooted in all of us to hear and to tell some new thing and to tell again something deserving remembrance. But the novel itself, and the short story also, must confess that they have only of late been able to claim equality with the epic and the lyric, and with comedy and tragedy, literary forms consecrated by antiquity. There were nine muses in Greece of old, and no one of these daughters of Apollo was expected to inspire the writer of prose fiction. Whoever had then a story to tell, which he wished to treat artistically, never dreamed of expressing it except in the nobler medium of verse, in the epic, in the idyl, in the drama. Prose seemed to the Greeks, and even to the Latins who followed in their footsteps, as fit only for pedestrian purposes. Even oratory and history were almost rhythmic; and mere prose was too humble an instrument for those whom the Muses cherished. The Alexandrian vignettes of the gentle Theocritus may be regarded as anticipations of the modern short story of urban local color; but this delicate idyllist used verse for the talk of his Tanagra figurines... Continue reading book >>




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