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The, novel of the present is chiefly 'inspirec'l by,the ideal of a coarse amusemeiii like : prize-fighting. "The basis is passion and. gold; yet the complete happiness of the hero is supposed to be achieved'at the end of his story by the possession of a reliable wife and a reliable banking account. This idea rages through the most popular of today's novels. Maurice. Hewlett, who ought- to know better, because he is a poev, v.'iil build his story on the merest ■.mechanism instead of on a soul; Hall Oaine, perhaps, does not know any better, bo; he can be excused; while of the women-novelists the only one to be— from her imaginative power—expected to know anything better is Marie" Corelli—and she doesn't; in the artistic sense she has remained illiterate; and, of course, the popular American novelists are just about- 2000 b.c. George Meredith, Henry James, and Thomas Hardr are the holy trinity of novelists. Meredith, the first , of the prophets, nearly saw that a-single character has <enongh emotions to make not merely a novel but a library. Henry James actually captured the vision..which Meredith was chasing. .Henry-James never touches'wood' in. his later 'hovels because he is telling us all about'the vision. He understood that such details as flesh and blood were insignificant impalpabilities, and that the only things we could touch were the ones that are out of reach.

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Bibliographic details

Ashburton Guardian, Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXXIII, Issue 8797, 18 February 1914

Word Count

NOVEL OF THE PRESENT. Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXXIII, Issue 8797, 18 February 1914