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. In Chapter 1, Gardner states that "In a literary culture where the very notion of a 'masterpiece' is commonly thought" what?
(a) Immature.
(b) Dangerous.
(c) Impossible.
(d) Barbaric.

2. What is the honest answer to the question most young writer's ask of "Do I have what it takes to be a writer?" according to Gardner?
(a) "God only knows."
(b) "Definitely yet."
(c) "You'll know in time."
(d) "Definitely no."

3. Who is the author of Crime and Punishment?
(a) Nabokov.
(b) Flannagan.
(c) Dostoevsky.
(d) Joyce.

4. To whose poetry and prose had Gardner made allusions to in the novel Grendel?
(a) Percy Shelley.
(b) William Blake.
(c) Alfred, Lord Tennyson.
(d) Lord Byron.

5. Who is one of the writers Gardner notes in Chapter 1 as having both a fine ear for language and also a fascination with the materials?
(a) Proust.
(b) Hemingway.
(c) Joyce.
(d) Fitzgerald.

Short Answer Questions

1. Who wrote Finnegan's Wake?

2. Which title does Raymond Carver say is the only one he recalls of John Gardner's manuscripts in the Forward?

3. What magazine does Gardner suggest for good literary work in Chapter 1?

4. Gardner writes in Chapter 1 that when the central character is a victim there is no what?

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

Short Essay Questions

1. What does Gardner say of writers with "bad taste" in language in Chapter 1?

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

3. What does Gardner say of supporting oneself as a writer in Chapter 3?

4. Where did Gardner learn his method of writing?

5. Describe some of the qualities of bad writing workshops in Chapter 2.

6. How does the young author learn technique through reading others?

7. What does Gardner say of editors in Chapter 3? What can one do to appeal to an editor?

8. In Chapter 1, what does Gardner say the most common question of the aspiring writer is to him? What is the response?

9. What does Gardner say of finding support for the author in Chapter 3?

10. What is addictive of the "magic moment" to the writer in Chapter 4?

(see the answer keys)

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