Some Modern Novelists: Appreciations and Estimates

Some Modern Novelists: Appreciations and Estimates

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Some Modern Novelists: Appreciations and Estimates

Some Modern Novelists: Appreciations and Estimates

Read FREE!

Excerpt

Of the dozen appreciations and estimates gathered here, several have appeared in The Atlantic Monthly and one in The Yale Review, to the editors of which magazines we make grateful acknowledgment for permission to revise and reprint about half of the material in this book.

We hope that, in and underlying the group of essays, the reader may find a unity of intention expressed in neither the title nor the form of the volume. Each of these seemingly detached papers is conceived as a footnote to a tendency: the modern tendency of fiction -- and, for that matter, of all humane thinking and living -- toward a fuller sense of the continuity in things, in the world and in man's collective life.

This sense of continuity -- call it "living in the whole," the social conscience, or simply the will to, brotherhood -- is of course no new thing, either in the world or in literature. The discovery by Adam and Eve that there was a certain rewarding solidarity even in the sharing of sin and fear must have been a comparatively recent development of the social intuition. Yet that intuition has entered, it seems to us, upon a definably new phase, not dating indeed from any single event or even from any single decade, but grow-

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