Tales of Henry James: The Texts of the Stories, the Author on His Craft, Background and Criticism - The Art of Fiction Summary & Analysis

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The Art of Fiction Summary

Introduction: Much of James' language for literary criticism is derived from the accepted terminology for discussion of painting, partly because James studied painting before turning to writing. His first writing assignments were nonfiction pieces on the great churches and museums of Europe. His essays on the craft of writing are not consistent, partly because they were written over many decades. Editorial considerations required that short stories in James' time be 6,000 to 8,000 words, a limit he found hard to work with. He preferred to write novellas, novels and longer short stories 10,000 words or more. Still, at some point he made a conscious effort to write more short stories, which were highly salable.

James believed that the writer could treat a story as a picture or a scene. A picture was a highly descriptive internal dialogue describing the main character's thoughts, feelings and...

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This section contains 747 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Tales of Henry James: The Texts of the Stories, the Author on His Craft, Background and Criticism Study Guide
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