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Didactic Fiction

Didactic Fiction

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On Lessons learned from heated discussions at Authorsden Roundtable Forum
On Lessons learned from heated discussions at Authorsden Roundtable Forum

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Published by: David Arthur Walters on Apr 25, 2013
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05/30/2013

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ESSAIS 
 
Page
1
o
6
 
‘Disintegration
 
of 
 
Adam’
 
by
 
Darwin
 
Leon
 
DIDACTIC
 
FICTION
 
BY
 
DAVID
 
ARTHUR
 
WALTERS
 
 
ESSAIS 
 
Page
2
o
6
 
Internet
 
forums
 
for
 
writers,
 
such
 
as
 
the
 
private
 
Roundtable
 
at
 
Authorsden.com,
 
stimulate
 
the
 
creative
 
imagination.
 
They
 
provide
 
professional
 
information
 
and
 
a
 
place
 
to
 
write
 
live
 
and
 
to
 
critically
 
examine
 
styles
 
and
 
sketches
 
of 
 
various
 
subjects
 
of 
 
interest
 
in
 
“threads.”
 
They
 
are
 
certainly
 
a
 
valuable
 
source
 
of 
 
ideas,
 
 just
 
as
 
were
 
the
 
salons
 
of 
 
old;
 
however,
 
virtual
 
forums
 
lack
 
the
 
physical
 
presence
 
of 
 
everyone
 
involved
 
as
 
well
 
as
 
the
 
personal
 
skills
 
of 
 
a
 
brilliant
 
and
 
beautiful
 
hostess.
 
When
 
Socrates
 
did
 
most
 
of 
 
the
 
talking
 
at
 
forums,
 
his
 
intention
 
was
 
usually
 
didactic.
 
He
 
proved
 
the
 
oracle
 
true
 
when
 
he
 
learned
 
that
 
he
 
was
 
the
 
wisest
 
man
 
of 
 
all
 
the
 
men
 
he
 
questioned
 
because
 
by
 
that
 
questioning
 
he
 
discovered
 
he
 
alone
 
was
 
ignorant
 
of 
 
the
 
absolute
 
truth
 
about
 
anything
 
at
 
all.
 
That
 
is
 
not
 
to
 
say
 
we
 
should
 
preach
 
ignorance
 
as
 
a
 
virtue,
 
but
 
that
 
we
 
should
 
encourage
 
the
 
continuance
 
of 
 
the
 
great
 
conversation
 
of 
 
humankind.
 
Conversations
 
in
 
ancient
 
fictional
 
plays
 
provided
 
a
 
high
 
cultural
 
education
 
for
 
all
 
who
 
attended.
 
The
 
ancient
 
Greeks
 
are
 
famous
 
for
 
their
 
dialogues.
 
However,
 
didactic
 
dialogue
 
among
 
two
 
or
 
more
 
people
 
is
 
not
 
much
 
admired
 
in
 
non
fiction
 
today;
 
direct
 
statements
 
by
 
a
 
collective
 
“we”
 
if 
 
not
 
by
 
a
 
single
 
speaker
 
are
 
preferred—a
 
gentleman
 
said
 
he
 
did
 
not
 
believe
 
an
 
exposition
 
of 
 
mine
 
because
 
I
 
used
 
to
 
many
 
“I”s.
 
Nor
 
is
 
didactic
 
dialogue
 
cared
 
for
 
in
 
fiction
 
except
 
to
 
explain
 
the
 
setting,
 
subject
 
matter,
 
or
 
what
 
is
 
transpiring.
 
Nowadays
 
people
 
want
 
action.
 
They
 
do
 
not
 
care
 
for
 
long
winded
 
conversations,
 
especially
 
those
 
of 
 
the
 
moral
 
sort.
 
Of 
 
course
 
long
 
conversations
 
were
 
the
 
main
 
and
 
sometimes
 
the
 
only
 
attraction
 
prior
 
to
 
the
 
invention
 
of 
 
motion
 
pictures
 
and
 
televisions.
 
Periodicals
 
included
 
fictional
 
stories
 
as
 
well
 
as
 
conversational
 
essays
 
in
 
nonfiction
 
to
 
make
 
content
 
more
 
lively.
 
Religious
 
and
 
political
 
writing
 
was
 
passionate
 
and
 
often
 
downright
 
vicious
 
in
 
the
 
expressive
 
days.
 
Still,
 
the
 
purpose
 
of 
 
such
 
famous
 
eighteenth
 
century
 
publications
 
as
 
the
 
Tatler 
 
and
 
the
 
Spectator 
 
of 
 
Richard
 
Steele
 
and
 
Joseph
 
Addison
 
were
 
edited
 
for
 
the
 
moral
 
edification
 
of 
 
their
 
readers.
 
Vice,
 
cynicism,
 
greediness,
 
and
 
infidelity
 
were
 
held
 
in
 
contempt
 
as
 
unbefitting
 
to
 
man's
 
true
 
self.
 
Indeed,
 
the
 
purpose
 
of 
 
a
 
genuine
 
essay
 
was
 
believed
 
to
 
be
 
the
 
uplifting
 
of 
 
moral
 
virtue
 
and
 
the
 
teaching
 
of 
 
science.
 
 
ESSAIS 
 
Page
3
o
6
 
Fictitious
 
characters,
 
such
 
as
 
Mr.
 
Spectator
 
of 
 
the
 
Spectator's
 
Club,
 
were
 
used
 
to
 
present
 
ideas
 
through
 
polite
 
conversations.
 
The
 
Spectator 
 
agenda
 
included
 
popularizing
 
science
 
"as
 
a
 
reinforcement
 
of 
 
religions
 
faith":
 
the
 
evolutionary
 
adaptation
 
of 
 
animals
 
was
 
presented
 
as
 
demonstrative
 
of 
 
God's
 
beneficience.
 
The
 
Tatler’s
 
Trumpet
 
Club
 
was
 
headed
 
by
 
Sir
 
Roger
 
de
 
Coverley,
 
a
 
kind
 
and
 
elderly
 
country
 
squire.
 
Tatler 
 
endeavored
 
bring
 
philosophy
 
out
 
"to
 
dwell
 
in
 
clubs
 
and
 
assemblies,
 
at
 
tea
tables
 
and
 
in
 
coffee
houses."
 
By
 
'philosophy'
 
was
 
meant
 
comprehensive
 
knowledge
 
and
 
wisdom.
 
Tatler 
 
and
 
Spectator 
 
and
 
the
 
like
 
had
 
quite
 
a
 
civilizing
 
effect
 
on
 
their
 
readers.
 
But
 
people
 
eventually
 
tired
 
of 
 
the
 
pious
 
moralizing.
 
Didactic
 
fictions
 
became
 
terribly
 
boring
 
to
 
most
 
people.
 
They
 
wanted
 
entertainment,
 
not
 
sermons.
 
But
 
the
 
form
 
did
 
not
 
disappear.
 
H.G.
 
Wells,
 
who
 
thought
 
of 
 
himself 
 
as
 
teacher,
 
was
 
a
 
master
 
of 
 
didactic
 
novels.
 
He
 
is
 
known
 
best
 
for
 
War 
 
of 
 
the
 
Worlds
 
and
 
The
 
Time
 
Machine,
 
but
 
we
 
barely
 
known
 
him.
 
He
 
considered
 
himself 
 
to
 
be
 
a
 
 journalist
 
rather
 
than
 
a
 
novelist.
 
Indeed,
 
he
 
could
 
not
 
restrain
 
himself 
 
from
 
writing
 
about
 
current
 
topics,
 
the
 
interest
 
in
 
which
 
was
 
bound
 
to
 
rapidly
 
fade
 
in
 
time,
 
as
 
opposed
 
to
 
artful
 
novels
 
which
 
might
 
attain
 
to
 
immortal
 
fame.
 
Wells
 
was
 
criticized
 
for
 
writing
 
non
fiction
 
and
 
didactic
 
novels.
 
Virginia
 
Woolf 
 
said
 
his
 
 Joan
 
and 
 
Peter 
 
was
 
too
 
didactic
 
for
 
fiction.
 
On
 
the
 
other
 
hand,
 
Thomas
 
Hardy
 
loved
 
the
 
novel
 
so
 
much
 
he
 
read
 
it
 
aloud
 
to
 
his
 
wife,
 
and
 
claimed
 
Wells
 
had
 
a
 
"preternatural
 
knowledge
 
of 
 
what
 
people
 
do"
 
in
 
their
 
houses.
 
And
 
Sir
 
E.
 
Ray
 
Lankester,
 
an
 
English
 
biologist
 
who
 
was
 
Chairman
 
of 
 
the
 
Committee
 
on
 
the
 
Neglect
 
of 
 
Science,
 
and
 
was
 
involved
 
in
 
educational
 
reform
 
for
 
the
 
purpose
 
of 
 
making
 
better
 
people
 
and
 
better
 
governments,
 
told
 
Wells
 
to
 
ignore
 
the
 
petty
 
and
 
 jealous
 
critics
 
"making
 
their
 
puny
 
efforts
 
to
 
crab
 
the
 
book
 
declaring
 
it
 
to
 
be
 
all
 
schoolmaster
 
and
 
no
 
story...."
 
H.L.
 
Mencken
 
took
 
Wells
 
to
 
task
 
in
 
his
 
inimitably
 
caustic
 
fashion,
 
for
 
heaving
 
larger
 
and
 
larger
 
doses
 
of 
 
theory
 
into
 
his
 
work.
 
In
 
an
 
essay
 
dated
 
1918,
 
Mencken,
 
uncomfortable
 
with
 
Wells'
 
"Flabby
 
Socialism",
 
that
 
of 
 
the
 
English
 
lower
 
class,
 
had
 
this
 
to
 
say
 
in
 
regards
 
to
 
a
 
few
 
of 
 
his
 
didactic
 
novels:
 

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