On Becoming a Novelist Test | Mid-Book Test - Medium

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This test consists of 5 multiple choice questions, 5 short answer questions, and 10 short essay questions.

Multiple Choice Questions

1. What author of Over the Edge does Gardner cite in Chapter 1?
(a) James Joyce.
(b) Franz Kafka.
(c) Kurt Vonnegut.
(d) Harlan Ellison.

2. Gardner compares Melville's Moby Dick with what in Chapter 1?
(a) Anna Karanina.
(b) To Have and Have Not.
(c) Omoo.
(d) Emma.

3. What masterpiece of James Joyce does Gardner suggest typing out for language growth in Chapter 1?
(a) "The Wall."
(b) "Ulysses."
(c) "Finnegan's Wake."
(d) "The Dead."

4. Which sci-fi author wrote A Canticle for Liebowitz?
(a) Kurt Vonnegut.
(b) J.D. Salinger.
(c) Walter M. Miller, Jr.
(d) Jack Humphries.

5. Who wrote Finnegan's Wake?
(a) Robbe-Grillet.
(b) Flaubert.
(c) Joyce.
(d) Nabokov.

Short Answer Questions

1. What does Gardner say we call a writer who has less feeling for his characters than we feel they deserve?

2. What author does Gardner say was known to arrive at a party and sit for ten minutes or more staring at guests and not answering when people addressed him in Chapter1?

3. What year did Raymond Carver move to Chico, California?

4. What is one of the philosophers who has maintained that words inevitably distance us from the brute existence, according to Gardner in Chapter 1?

5. Who developed the style of the "epiphany story" in The Dubliners?

Short Essay Questions

1. What are Gardner's workshops like for writers?

2. Who does Gardner refer to as the "best" novelists in Chapter 1? What lesson does he cite of them?

3. What hypothetical situation does Gardner uses as an example of plot in Chapter 1?

4. What are some of the qualities that should make an aspiring writer leave a program?

5. What does Gardner write of the standard technique of teaching writing in Chapter 2?

6. What does Gardner write about showy language in Chapter 1?

7. What does Gardner open Chapter 3 with, regarding the young writer's focus on publication?

8. What autobiographical experiences does Gardner relate regarding editors in Chapter 3?

9. Where does the author find faith, according to Gardner in Chapter 4?

10. What is the "moronic setup" that Gardner relates in Chapter 1?

(see the answer keys)

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