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Author

Title

This

book

should

be

returned

on

or

before

the

datr

lastnarked

below.

e's

ho

such

the

but

rily,

and

sh!"

hi

can't

"If

Alice

thing!"

the

and

Hatter

March

civil,

Hare

sulkily

Dormouse

the

be

beginning

was

re-

you'd

better

finish

you

for

LEWIS

Wonderland

yourself."

CAROLL:

Alice's

Adventures

in

CONTENTS

PART

PRELIMINARIES

ONE:

PAGE

CHAPTER

PROGRAM

II

EXIT

AUTHOR

14

III

PSYCHOLOGY:

FIELDING,

IV

PSYCHOLOGY:

MEREDITH

35

PSYCHOLOGY:

PROUST

48

VI

PHILOSOPHY:

HUGO

55

VII

PHILOSOPHY:

WELLS

65

VIII

HORS-D'CEUVRES:

IX

XII

94

MANN

ZOLA,

TWO:

TOWARD

85

DOSTOEVSKI

PHILOSOPHY:

PART

103

IDEAL

DRAMATIC

THE

NOVEL

WELL-MADE

THE

.121
.

XIII

DRAMATIC

PRESENT

XIV

DRAMATIC

PRESENT:

XVI

DRAMATIC

DOSTOEVSKI

XVII

POINT

OF

XVIII

POINT

OF

XIX

PART

/POINT

OF

THREE:

DRAMA:
VIEW:
VIEW:
VIEW:

.155

TOLSTOY

THACKERAY,

PRESENT:

SUBJECTIVE

145
.

XV

75

....

CABELL

PHILOSOPHY:

XI

25

FRANCE

BARRES,

HORS-D'(KUVRES:

ELIOT

JAMES

177

JAMES
JAMES
JAMES,

193
AND

OTHERS
.

204

.218

STENDHAL

WELL-MADE

THE

164

NOVEL

XX

VARIATIONS:

BENNETT

231

XXI

VARIATIONS:

GALSWORTHY

246

vii

CONTENTS

Vlll

CHAPTER

XXII

SIGRID

VARIATIONS:

XXIII

THE

XXIV

POINT

UNDSET

263

UNITIES

273

VIEW:

OF

HERGESHEIMER

280
....

XXV

THE

WELL-MADE

PART
XXVI
XXVII

THE

XXVIII

FOUR:

CRITIQUE
THE

NOVEL:

OF

THE

REALIST

WHARTON

287

TRANSITION
WELL-MADE

NOVEL

REACTION:

-Du"j"t"

MODERNISTS

IMPRESSIONISM:

CONRAD

XXX

IMPRESSIONISM:

LAWRENCE

IMAGISM:

DOROTHY

XXXII

FIVE:

Y'

385

EXPRESSIONISM

XXXIV

DISCONTINUITY:
LOGIC

XXXV

JOYCE

BREADTHWISE

THE

LIFE:

COUNTERPOINT:

XXXVI

403

CUTTING
Dos

AND

425

PASSOS

437

GIDE

AJLDOUS

449

HUXLEY

458

....

COMPOSITE

XXXVII
XXXVIII

VIEWS

470

WOOLF,

EXPRESSIONISM:

FRANK

485

....

ABSTRACT

XXXIX
XL

COMPOSITION:

ABSTRACT

COMPOSITION:

Dos

PASSOS

XLII
XLIII

STREAM-OF-CPNSCIOUSNESS
THE

CULT

OF

THE

SIMPLE

RECAPITULATION

.501
.512

'

516
530
544

BIBLIOGRAPHICAL

NOTE

INDEX
.

DOBLIN
.

XLI

.321

36(5

RICHARDSON

POST-IMPRESSIONISM:

XXXIII

307

337

....

PART

332

XXIX

XXXI

SEDGWICK,

555

559

PART

ONE:

PRELIMINARIES

commis

Je

ce

toujours

que

considdrai

je

comme

inconvenance:

d"s

le

une

je

potage,

m'exprimai

abstraits.
termes

en

"MAURICE

discovered

Wagner

Jardin

"Le

BARRES:

that

be

melody

from

end

following

school

that

novel

had

and

end,

to

an

"GEORGE

MOORE:

uninterrupted

"Confessions

the

tic
realis-

footsteps

much

better

narrative"

much

opera

Wagner's

on

B"r"nice"

had
an

better

de

flow

of

of
a

covered
dis-

be

narrative.

Young

Man"

all

PROGRAM

i
is

my

features
The
a

of

form

is

for

meant

is of

It

without

of

shall

writers

the

by

is

such

such

and

for

criticism

is

determine
that

his

thing
which
that

criticism

has
not

of

in

itself.
much

merely

does
which

It

of
is

them,

is

more

"

or

less

and
ness
busi-

fact
he

is

well

as

for

as

with

normal

mains
re-

does
useful

teresting
in-

an

their

prevail
the

it

while

the

by critics,

confusion

for

intentions

technique

preparation

the

artistic

such

which

by

criticism,

all

ultimate

reali/cd

neglected
great

in

intentions

the

means

we

sought

And

author's

of

and

preference

the

the

of

object

effect

and

fine

while

study

business

been

novels

has
is

the

that
the

for

preparation

and

nique.
tech-

consciously

such

have

to

he

the

accordingly.

appreciate

to

technique
and

them,

realize

methods

far

how

share

to

adequately,

show

to

It

intentions,

the

tendency

not

technique

specific

is

period

novelist

novelistic

methods

there

given

the

is

novel.

intention,

technical

But

their

choose

them

reali/e

how

subject-matter,

all-important

of
and

to

of

English.

this

novelistic

artistic

the

the

chosen.

of

obviously

For

determines

that

start

subject-matter,

again

over

craftsmen

and

aims,

to

artist

for

arts

is

and

the

discuss

to

the

in

novel

evolution

reali/e

help

to

unconsciously

or

for

outstanding

twentieth-century

the

considered.

over

see

the

of

impossible
regard

certain

trace

from

in

study

course

technique

to

twentieth-century

study

some

the

book

understand

critical

gcneial

the

in

will

reader

this

in

purpose

ness
busithe
in

sult
re-

the
con-

NOVEL

TWENTIETH-CENTURY

THE

dition of criticism in all the

arts

but

"

do

we

not

have

even

descriptionof novelistic technique terms


approximatelypreciseand generallyunderstood.
This
of thingspeculiarto contemporary
is not
state
a
available

for the

criticism.

Indeed, there has

of the
at

as

that
than

matters

to

present

be

will

they

when

novel

the
and

detailed

much

of

technique,and

better

time

attention

so

much

they have been in


only Englishwriter

been

never

has
the

understood

in

in the

tory
his-

paid

been

prospect is
the

future

the past. We
might almost say that
in the past who
has given extended

questions of technique is
often
most
Henry James. What
occupied
Fielding was
with in the critical essays prefixedto each book
of "Tom
truth to nature,
and
that was
the virtually
Jones*'was
exclusive
of Thackeray, of GeQrge Eliot, of
concern
Meredith, in the frequent critical apologies thrust into
the

consideration

of their novels.

to

say, the novelists most


interested in technique that is,in the way the story was
told
before
the time of James, were
probably Dickens
text

Strange

to

"

"

and
to

Collins, novelists

Wilkie
nature

were

concerned

their very
of realism

for

truth

slightthat we might not suppose


with anything so serious-sounding
as

nique.
tech-

I shall try

on,

of fact,as

matter

want
"

regard

they

so

was

As

whose

was

of

for truth

concern
one

reason

for

to

to

show

nature

their

"

farther

their want

taking technique

seriously.
As

for the French

naturalists,whose

influence

began to
be so stronglyfelt in England in the eighteen-nineties,
while they were
doubt
no
nifica
great technicians, and had sigthings to say here and there on the subject of
structural technique (see Chapter XII
below), what they
either the "human
ment*'
documost
frequentlydiscussed was
(Zola,the Goncourt
brothers),or the precise,the
unique word
(Flaubert,Maupassant) the one a matter
of "scientific" truth and
the other, as I should
it,
classify
of style.
And
the great
matter
a
these, I imagine, were
"

CRAFT

"THE

preoccupationsof George
Since
have

the

to

of

study

of

Craft

"The

bock's
"The

Technique

"The

Structure

in

his

novels

written

school.

radicallychanged. There
voted
remarkably fine books speciallydetechnique in the novel, 'PercyLub-

three

appeared

Moore

situation

the

1920,

FICTION"

of the French

the influence

under

OF

has

H.
(ig2i),^Carl
(igsS^and Edwin

Fiction"

of the Novel"
Novel"

of the

Grabo's
Muir's

besides

(1929).And

these

technique in
tion,"
studies of a broader
Writing of Ficscope, such as "The
(1925),"Aspects of the Novel/'
by Edith Wharton
History of the Novel in
by E. M. Forster (1927), "The
England," by Robert Morss Lovett and Helen Sard Hughes
(1932),and, naturally,in nearlyeverythingthat has been
about
of
written
James Joyce since the appearance
"Ulysses" (1922). Many other important books on the
incidental

is considerable

there

novel,

the technical

both

on

reference

and

to

the historical side, I have

of this study.
note
at the end
bibliographical
It is impossibleto discuss the subjectof techniqueat the
making acknowledgments in particular
present day without
listed in

Mr.

to

this

on
so

well-balanced,
work

of what

outline
nor

placeslets

outlined, but

myself

minutely
And

"

to

into what

then, Mr.

and

no

falls within

us

know,

has

he

subjectwhich

has left untouched

of the craft of fiction. And


for

has written

one

fill in

has

as

not

Mr.

nor

so

Lubbock

undertaken

he has

many
that is one

given

so

to

fully
master-

pects
important asthing I propose

of the details, to go more


call the mechanics
of the art.

some

may
Lubbock's
is
we

one

fully
beauti-

so

its scope,

sober. But,
critically

so

the details of the

out

No

specialsubjectas he,

complete an

in several

Lubbock.

Percy

generalstudy of the craft of


fiction without
regard to particularperiodsand countries,
and the latest of the novels discussed by him, James's "Ambassadors,
what I propose
was
published in 1903. Whereas
is a study of the novel in English in the twentieth
century,
with
earlier periods aad
foreign fiction used for backa

NOVEL

TWENTIETH-CENTURY

THE

of comparison; and it is the later novels


ground and terms
"The
Ambassadors," which
of James, and more
particularly
the goal,the
form
my point of departure,as they formed
traced

limit, of the evolution


The
last

Lubbock's

of Mr.

whole

Mr.

by

Lubbock.

book

is concerned,

in the

and

interplayof what he
cursive)
dis(roughly,the expository,
descriptive,
pictorial
of the novel.
elements
and the dramatic
(scenical)

analysis,with

calls the

balance

the

by which James, in "The


And, having set forth the method
into drama
ing
matter
Ambassadors," turns
pictorial
by strainof the leading character,
it through the consciousness
"the

here

that

he

concludes

of

somebody's experience

indeed

however,

he

for it

limit

by touching the

its limit. There

touches
.

various

he

men

direction, has exhausted

Through the work of


has been
discussing,"the range of
permanently enlarged;it is proved,

once

than

might

the guess
novel

the

he

have

to

suspectedbefore."

larger resources
And

he

ventures

that

now

may

tremendous

degree

been

the

evolution.

says, "is
for all, that the craft of fiction has

method,"

is

to

in this

of technical
possibilities
the

dramatizingthe picture

go." On the very next


page,
the
that
possiblenojdon
guards against
James,

further

no

of

art

startingupon

it has

career

which

be

it may

fresh

life,after the

had

be

already.The discoveryof the


enhanced
this may
dramatically"

point of departurefrom which it will set out with vigour


renewed;
perhaps it has done so by this time. [He was writing
the year before Ulysses,
and he ignores Conrad.] Anyhow it is
clear that an
immense
monies
varietyof modulations, mixtures, harbe

of method
avail

itself.
.

couple
are

yet untried,
There

of centuries

unheard-of

Ambassadors

of

is still

method,

experiments to
give no more
may
and

so

it if it chooses

to

open
much

be made.
than

be achieved

criticism

may

A
a

novel

hint

by

done,

be

to

novel-writingwithout

profound effects waitingto


upon

are

the

of the

rich

called

there
as

layingof

be
presently

after

pause;
such

to

The
and

method
on

to

CRAFT

"THE

delicate process

analyze the

attempt; it is to be hoped
There
be

to

says Mr.

are,

made.
.

They

so

FICTION"

OF

much

more

closelythan

now

indeed.

unheard-of

Lubbock,

already been

have

experiments
made,

some

of

ardson,
Joseph Conrad, D. H. Lawrence, Dorothy RichJames Joyce,VirginiaWoolf, John Dos Passos, to
of the experimenters.And
name
a few
alreadycriticism is
called on
to
analyze the delicate process. But curiously
experiments have taken
enough, many of these unheard-of
their start
just from that paradoxicalart, exemplifiedby
ence*'
James, of "dramatizing the pictureof somebody's experiacter
by strainingit through the consciousness of the chartheir start
taken
have
the point
himself. They
at
ther.
where
James left off,and they have carried the process fursuch novel means
of picAt least, they have invented
turing

them, by

the consciousness
a

further

in

sense,

extension

But

if the

new

And

of the method.

the method

actuallywas

There

of the character

does

further

not

"touch

for it

that it amounts
so

it turns

its limit"

to

out

in

that,

James.

to

go.
have
carried
experimenters

further

this

specialtechnical feature of James (and his school),which


evidentlythey found to their taste, there are other features
of the school which
they quite as evidentlydid not like.
the experimental type of novel
And
represents in about
equal proportions an intensification of James's methods
and a reaction againstthem. So that on the whole, the novel
since, say, 1920 has an aspect as distinct from that of James
and

his school

of Dickens

and

as

the novels

of that school

have

from

those

Thackeray.
tion
Now, the novels of James which represent the culminaof his method
are
products of the twentieth century.
Still more
obviouslyof our century are the novels of his
Edith
Wharton's
leading disciples:
"Age of Innocence,"
for example, dating from as late as 1920, and Joseph Hergesheimer's "Cytherea"and "The
Bright Shawl" from 1922.

EXPRESSIONISM

closer

kinship to
than

to

typicalfiction

English novels have


and
they are very
religiousand emotional
the

The

term

seldom
tone

from

drama

cast

than

characterized
of

of expressionism

of that school. In

realistic

more

derived

was

poetry and

the German

the

the

general
the German,

the strong
writers.

by

German

painting and then applied


ture.
music, and literasculpture,

by analogy to the allied arts of


in
those various movements
In origin it referred
to
which
tuted
constipainting,French, Italian, Russian, German,
all characterized
a reaction
againstimpressionism.They were
to the literal rendering
by the desire not to be bound
of outward
a
as

vehicle

of the

the Germans

Germans
wish

in nature,
appearances
artist's personal reaction

say, of his own


to say in their

go on
to subordinate

aspect of

things to

the
the

but
"

to

an

make

art

expression,

life. And
spiritual

so, as

the

they
metaphysicalmanner,
and accidental
merely superficial

absolute, the essential, the

inner

The
movement
begins with painterslike Cezanne,
reality.
Gogh, with their freer handling of
Gauguin, and Van
forms and colors, organizedaccordingto a rhythm which
is
more
personal to the artist than imposed by the subject.
It passes into the more
arbitraryfuturism of painterslike
ject
Kandinsky, in which it is vain to seek for any precisesubit reaches its extreme
And
taken from nature.
logical
of sensuous
development in the cubists, who deny the validity
as
a
subjectfor art, but aim to make an
appearances
artistic abstraction
In

applying

of the essential
like

forms

found

in nature.

and
"expressionism'*

"impressionism"
of fiction,I wish to suggest the roughly
to works
paralleldevelopment in our time of the several arts, being
of the same
as
they are but varied manifestations
spiritual
cultural evolution.
In using the term
"exlife,the same
sometimes
I have
or
pressionistic,"
"post-impressionistic/*
the notion
of abstract composition
particularlyin mind
derived from painting.
And
since my subjectis technique,
I

am

more

terms

concerned
especially

with

departuresfrom

the

NOVEL

TWENTIETH-CENTURA

THE

10

type of novel

conventional

by
expressionistic

writers

which

with

them

offered
reorganizethe subject-matter
life,transcendingby methods
primarilytechnical
less realistic stuff in which
or
they work.
handle

and

Once

again

pretend to be
period covered.
detailed

and

Maugham,

of many
E. M.

Buck, either because

Pearl

writers

In

have

stronglyromantic
writers

not

left

cast,

out

like W.

of historical

Newman,

Forster, Frances
the writer

questiondoes

in

for

general

the more'

of distinction, such

distinctive in
anything specially
of technique,or because
what
he stands for
exemplifiedin other novelists discussed.
stand

not

they
by

comprehensive historyof fiction in the


Of necessityI have
been
obliged to omit

consideration

Somerset

as

treme
ex-

that this does

the reader

remind

I must

tain
cer-

indicatingthe

of

way

unconventionality

and

freedom

I call

the side of form.

on

of

account

H.

romance,

the evolution
is

sufficiently

novelists

Hudson,
because

of

and

in ticular
parwould
they

The
air of reality
sought
greatlycomplicatethe subject.
a high effort of the imaginaby romancers
tion,
may often mean
and
it has its bearing,in books
sions/'
Manlike "Green
certain questionsof techniquelike that of the
on
limited point of view. But it is, after all, a very different
from
the reality
matter
sought by writers who are dealing
with contemporary
Conrad
is a special
and familiar things.
since his personal experience brought him
into
case,
such close contact
with picturesque and
exotic material,
his passion to get to the bottom
and
motives
of human
gives a depth and seriousness to subjectswhich, with
But it
most
writers, could be classified as simply romantic.
too

does

follow

not

references

Young,

and

to

that

we

writers

William

need
like

McFee,

discussion with
clutter up our
M.
F. Brett
H.
Tomlinson,

however

good they may

be

ifi

PROGRAM

their way,

and

much

however

I propose

remind

they may

us

nical
of tech-

Conrad.

proceduresof
What

11

do, then, is

to

culminating in

to

trace

novel, and

well-made

the

first the

encies
tendthe

then

culminating in the expressionistic


the forces of reaction againstthe well-made
novel. Among
novel, I include such disparatefiguresas Dreiser, whose
brings him back to an earlier, less
impatient naturalism
menter,
rigidlyformal composition,and Conrad, tireless experifor whom
the novel is a plasticform
to be constantly
with his ever
tention
changing inreshaped in accordance

reaction

the tendencies

"

and

design.

tion,
tracingan evolution, I wish to avoid the implicaso
likelyto creep into criticism of any of the arts, that
in the sense
of an
what
are
we
observing is an advance
before. Let no one
I
improvement on what went
suppose
am
wishing to imply that the novels of the igso'sare better
work
than the novels of the i goo'sbecause
later,
they come
In thus

or

that

of

the

1850*5 or

and

do

we

the

the

meet

not

to

goo's

better

are

the

account

day

every
I do not

Fielding or Hardy.
is better technically.For
reference

1750*8.Altogether apart

take into

must

one

of

novels

the

even

of the

the

from

nique,
techman,

of

stature

that the later work

mean

technique

intention, and

those

of the

stature

man

than

must

intention

be
of

judged by
a
Fielding

Hardy is a very different thing from that of a Gals-'


there is a
often, where
worthy or a Dos Passos. And most
loss to match
gain in technique,there may be some
positive
device
it,even
a loss in technique.The
discoveryof a new
does not
mean
a technical
necessarily
improvement, since
it is possiblefor the discoverer, and still more
his imitators,
or

to
a

produce an
work

it, to

overdo

to

of

ingenioustechnical

misapply it, and


monstrosityrather than

art.

Still,it is obvious
technical

it, to

exaggerate

devices

are

that, with

the

discpveredand

passingof time,
tried out,

and

new

that he

TWENTIETH-CENTURY

THE

i*

who

later has

comes

of his

NOVEL

least the

at

advantage
is free

He
predecessors.

experimentation
profit,if he

of the

to

and mistakes; and among


by their successes
procedures of the art, to choose those which
particularneeds. He may, if it suits his need,
Meredith,
to Dickens
or
procedures unknown

the various

can,

better

in

1850

novel

he

involves progress,
is

an

at

that tends

circumstance

one

least could

at

make
and

of

use

duce
pro-

so

produced
passingof time
have

any rate, the


evolution
for the better.

1870. For him,

or

There

than

suit his

best

to

ous
the dubi-

create

impressionthat what we are following is a progressive


encies
improvement in the art of the novel. In tracingthe tendthat produced the work
of the i goo's,or again the
reaction of the 1920*5,we
are
obliged to put ourselves at
the point of view of the writers concerned/We
have to consider
what
it was
in their
that they found
unsatisfactory
what
to
predecessors,
changes they wished
bring about,
what particularimprovements they were
making. So that
the emphasis,at least in the beginning,is all on the side of
rather than of ground lost. This
is particularly
progress made
true

made

novel,

serve

make

But

of the

men

have

we

"control."

as

we

for the

igso's.In

least the reaction

at

In the very

act

of

the

of

case

later reaction

to

the

serve

case

the

control;

at

any

iggo's to

movement,

novel.

well-made

novel
expressionistic
as

of the well-

of the

tracingthis

the critiqueof
necessarily

in

the

there

rate,

none

is

no

ciently
suffi-

well defined,
much

to

for this

back

but
upon
critical sense.
But

native

deal with
air

as

our

to amount
vigorous,and long-standing,
have nothing to fall
we
purpose. There
knowledge of the classics and our native

critical

sense

is

strictly
contemporary

these

men.

We

are

notoriouslyinadequate
work.

part and

We

breathe

parcelof

the

to

same

the social, the

the esthetic complex out of which


philosophical,
they have
taken shape.We
Their
umphs
trithem
in perspective.
cannot
see
are
our
triumphs.Their noveltyis stillnovelty for

PROGRAM

Their

us.

experiments

with

them,

they
are

after

are

waiting

the

by

standards

wonder
case

if

what

the

at

absolute

be

quite

be

What

those

procedures.

technique
how

much

to

procedure.

consider

the

age,

and

the

the
since

implies

Joyce

the

Wharton;
from

that

quite

of

work

George

incidental

be,

over

the

technical

different

to

limited
means

Dos

Eliot.
main

field,

by

to

which

shall
can

we

the

such

But

get

at

these

with

at

times

with

the

obliged

the

intention,

main

are

of

temper

The

different

effects

see

and

such

be

that

effects

to

the

from

Our

that

of such

of

work
of

Edith

social

considerations

object.

the

in

try

by

technique.

Passos

gram.
pro-

say,

served

do

psychology

of

our

far

to

shall

We

suppose
we

shall

much

attempt

associated

background,

determines
a

but

it is best
we

the

moment

how

cover,

philosophical

intention

own

our

procedures

effect

ground,

so

of

pride

ambitious

less

of
for

intention,

has

that

being.

is certain

Necessarily

that

in

with

time

with

not

whole

it does

artistic

an

shall

to

the

abjure

to

the

for

kinds

the

We

ground

such

such

and

the

covers

better

study

to

inclined

dead.

occupied

want

fiction,

do

least

at

enough
we

of

making

shall

we

have

we

we

them

that

damned

be

And

are

know

And

the

with

criticism,
well

rather

saved

whole,

them.

what

measuring

we

we

pleted
uncom-

out

success.

times,

at

artists,

with
had

their

Hardy,

or

decadent

We

than

people

Fielding

are

are.

If,

crimes.

decadents

we

On

of

they

are

we

and

their

to

of

still

making

busy

judge

to

their

of

result

tory
labora-

the

in

were

we

too

are

able

if

as

the

on

We

be

to

accessory

it is

"

experiments.

13

slant
will

object
intended
secured.

be
will
and

II

AUTHOR

EXIT

the

Ford,

to

other

is the

Scott,

in

in

present
all

on

the

form

sane

When

and

especially having
and
affair

her

virtuous

sister

concluding

pages

taken

to

did
even

so,

he

not
was

afraid

than

contented

to

he
the

felt

happy

that
dazzled

more

obliged

by

married

sister
to

add,

the

in

these

the

had

tation
exalbut

heedless

some

lady

great

Scotch

large capitals,an

of
the

over

sinners;

melancholy
to

ried
mar-

of

social

and

reader,

lover,

baronet

good
of

couple

the

happiness
light

rosy

marriage

careless

Sir

outcome

of

cup

The

even

may

legally

happy

the

shed

to

you

bandit

her

lassie

This

romance.

that

out

make

be

her

the

of

girl, might
by

and

Jeanie

point

fill up

to

how,

out

featured

having
and

Deans

high society.

point

Midlothian/'

of

frivolous

his

demanded

was

pains

Effie

got

into

brought

her

and

of

good

conduct.

his

over

right

and

characters,

Heart

worried

love-affair

unhallowed

the
of

"The

finished

evidently

was

of

successes

the

wisdom
to

formed
in-

explain

to

fqrrning

and

story,

and

is everywhere

action,

of

any

properly

are

the

nuggets
the

author

you

your

right philosophy

had

he

Walter

and

and

insure

of

course

failures

the

of

scatter

to

the

that

see

and

you

them,

feeling along

to

than

Fielding

In

the

Eliot,

Fielding

more

you

author.

circumstances

to

of

opinion

the

George

person

the

characters

from

and

Thackeray

impress

of

disappearance

from

novel

English

will

that

thing

one

the

of

view

bird's-eye

minister,

admonition

Reader:

This

tale

the

will

great

not

truth,

be

told

that

in

vain,

if it shall

guilt, though

it may

be

found
attain

to

trate
illus-

temporal

AUTHOR

EXIT

splendor,can
of

crimes

our

ghostsof

the

the

worldlygreatness,
This

happiness;that

real

long

paths

quences
conse-

and, like

factor;
the steps of the malethose of
of virtue, though seldom
haunt

of

always those

are

the evil

their commission,

survive
forever

the murdered,
that

and

confer

never

15

tradition has survived

and
pleasantness

in the work

even

of

peace.
novelist

Ford. At
thoroughly of our time as Mr. Ford Madox
Mr. Ford does not hesitate
least,in his dedicatoryepistles,
it is he has been attempting to say, as for
to explain what
example in "A Man Could Stand Up":
so

This
of

is what
the
of

reasons

the late

similar

the

modern
mind.

ing
fightIf, for

lective
of dislike for col-

to
permit your
you choose
this" or something very accentuated

own,

your
another

on

along
up

than

embark

to

like: this is how

was

organized, scientific type affects


gain or, as is still more
likely,out

types other
rulers

war

war,

lines" is what

you

will

have

to

put

with!

But

the resemblance

comment

the

on

here

book

that

It is only in
superficial.
Mr.
Ford
permits himself
thing.It is only there that
is

his
to

he
point out the moral of the
is the philosopher.Within
the limits of his story, in his
strikingseries of war novels, he does not appear at all. The
author does
story tells itself;the story speaksfor itself.The
not
count
apologizefor his characters; he does not give an actell

us

Above

of them;

he does

what

they do,

all,he has them

feel, what

describe

not

has

but
tell

us

them; he does

them

tell

what

to

"

use

of his central

my

friend's eyes

as

"To

medium

character, Tietjens] I
"

this series of books."

minds

am

even

themselves.

they think,

impressionsbeat in on their
in which
they find themselves.

situations

us,

not

what
from

they
the

this determination

ing
[heis speakadhering in

actions
reyou have here his mental
and his reflections
which
are
not, NOT
not,
presented
those of the author."
as

"And

"

This

is

great

outstapding feature

of

techniquesince

WALTER

will but
confessed

her

to

understand
save

to

swear

why

her

expositionsof
Jeanie cannot
This

before

and

during

the

the

counsel,

we

scenes

so

little

it

less than

wait

in suspense

scruple

of

to

tell itself

be had

hardly be

simply

"

read

this,with

the

home

been

content

even

to

if

see

highest
tidious
by a faswithout

degrees

let the

story

present, for example, the impressions


of Effie,or those of the pious father who

to

Jeanie,or those
feels so profoundly

of

Scott

to

conscience.

stuff of the

brought

might

that

as

trial,through all the legal

emotional

can

Effie

child. Effie cannot

do

not

that
testify

Stevenson
or
up on Conrad
of their force. But
their force is many

sense

at

of her

this fatal

overcome

these

reader

well

the birth

sister will

her

17

if she will

"

is the stuff of drama;

power;

some

untruth

an

life. And

SCOTT

the

disgraceto

his

name.

Instead

of

ranging view of the historian who is equally


everywhere, he tells us something of how each

appeared,something of how each felt,something


of how
the audience
were
impressed in the trial scene, and
the lawyers dispersingour
interest over
the judge, and
different people for it to maintain
too
any intensity.
many
of all, he indulges freelythroughout in those
But
worst
of conventional
pity for the
elegantlypatronizingterms
character

"

characters

situation
and

correct

and tenseness
of the
agony
the good heart
to those
as
taking part so much
sentiments
of the author. Effie is not
Effie but
that render

the

unhappy prisoner;she and her sister


the gaoleris the
Effie and Jeanie but the mourners;
not
are
is the trial scene
decorated
hard-hearted
turnkey.Especially
Scott talks about
the
with such easy phrasesof sentiment.
the judge for sharing in the
he commends
awful
scene;
generalsympathy. On Jeanie'struthful declaration which
of her sister, "A
the condemnation
means
deep groan
passed through the Court. It was echoed by one deeper
and more
agonized from the unfortunate father.The hope
which
to
unconsciouslyand in spiteof himself, he had
old
dissolved, and the venerable
recentlyclung, had now
the

prisoner,or

the

not

TWENTIETH-CENTURY

i8

THE

man

fell forward
his head

with

senseless

guards betwixt

whom

terrifieddaughter. The

of his

unfortunate prisoner,with
the

the floor of the Court-house,

on

foot

the

at

NOVEL

with

impotent passion,strove
she

placed."
There
two
are
great offenses here againstnarrative art.
In the first place,the scene
is presented in tabloid. There
has been no proper
focusingof attention on either the old
of the reader by those
his daughter,no preparation
man
or
little forward-lookingreferences that arouse
suspense. And
when
the bit of physicalaction comes,
as, presumably,the
climax
posed
of the scene,
and conventionallydisit is so briefly
of that
but

have

it sounds

like

was

this with

to

compare
Moore
or

stage direction.

mere

of the critical

some

You

moments

to realize how
Hardy
completelyScott here
failed to meet
die challengeof
neglectedhis opportunity,
his phrases of sympathetic
be presented.And
to
scene
a
which
the merest
are
description,
apology for neglecting

in

his

duty
the

to

as

present-dayreader,
be

should

told. For

the

poignancy and
making the action
himself, how

us,

This

masters

the

worst

They

seem

not

Archer, but

dramatic

to

are

offenders

to

feel about

several

think

it

Jeanie

of

the

elegantto

more

Deans

heroine."

must

story

a
us

instead
needs

feel
of
tell

through

century. Among
greatest novelists.

refer

Eleanor

or

scene,

offense

it.

in the nineteenth

are

making

right down

writing continues

of the novel

to

emotion,

own

of how

of

of the

power

its

carry

another

his notions

with

the author, instead

we

of

manner

the

in themselves

are
story-teller,

at

Bold

tervals
regularinor

Isabel

they do love to spillthe


the gentle victims of their symphialsof their pity over
pathy.
is "our
TrolThackeray's Amelia
gentle Amelia."
lope'sMr. Arabin is "poor Mr. Arabin"!
George Eliot, in
makes
lavish use of this ingredientof expressed
particular,
i

In

I have

to

"our

this passage, as in
italicized certain

reader's

attention.

number

words

And

of others
which

wish
"

quoted throughout the book,


the
to call particularlyto

GEORGE

pity in

the

with

sauce

excellent

ELIOT

which

she

19

smothers

and

serves

and

up
is the

Brooke
erringpeople. Dorothea
Vincy is poor thing; there is poor
poor child; Rosamond
how
Lydgate and poor Mrs. Bulstrode, and God knows
bundles
of protoplasm.Maggie Tulliother suffering
many
in "The
the Floss" is poor Maggie, by natural
Mill on
ver
and persecutedwoman.
In "Adam
rightas misunderstood
Bede," there is of course
poor Seth, and (forthe drunkard
taken off)poor wandering father;
who was
so providentially
Donnithorne
and Hetty, on
the point of sucand Arthur
cumbing
"Poor
to sin
not
things!It was a pitythey were
when
in that golden age of childhood
have
they would
timid
stood face to face, eyeing each other with
liking,
then given each other a little butterfly
kiss, and toddled
Above
all is Hetty always and everyoff to play together."
where
"poor little Hetty," "poor wandering Hetty," etc.
of Hetty Sorrel, George Eliot's sympathy is
In the case
unmixed.
This great bluestocking,
this Victorian
by no means
this
philosopherand companion of philosophers,
scholar with a face like a horse, could not regard with unqualified
frivolous, so shallow, so
so
sympathy a creature
let us not forget so pretty as Hetty Sorrel.
brainless,and
And
Evans, livingnobly and conscientiously
Mary Ann
of sin, pioneer as she was
of a responsibleand
in a state
her

"

"

"

rational

could

woman,

sympathy
most

toward

attitude
not

but

the

relation

stiffen,with

she felt for this rudderless

remarkable

instances

between

irony and

scorn,

little craft. One

of the Victorian

and

man

the

of the

passionfor

the

edifyingis that chapterentitled "The Two Bed-Chambers,"


in which
trast
George Eliot takes occasion to bring in vivid conand selfish girlputtingon her glassearrings
the weak
before her mirror and the pious and beautiful soul, Dinah
the
Morris, lost in silent prayer and troublingherself over
is likewise an instance of the
state of her erringsister. This
of whom
to stack the cards againstthe one
we
disposition
are

not

to

approve.

THE

20

How

pretty the littlepuss looks

the author

with

in the world

the face of

rings of

hair

what

about
lie

her

charmingly

so

prize the

face

and
about

[exclaims

be the easiest

her: there is such

gets who

man

dress!

in that odd

horse.]It would

fall in love with

to

like roundness

Ah,

NOVEL

TWENTIETH-CENTURY

figure;the
her

ears

wins

sweet

delicate
and

folly
babydark

neck
.

sweet

like

bride

Hetty!
And

tions;
page of such ironic commendathen
for it is thus that Adam
Bede was
taken in. And

there

follows

the author
Before
ask

makes

woman"

demonstration,
who
are

has

apt

her

apologyfor

despiseAdam

you

yourselfif you

pretty

long

were

if you
believe

ever

ever

as

Adam.

deficient

in

predisposedto
could, without

evil of the

one

believe

supremely pretty woman

leve
you. No: people who
think of the stone, and sometimes

to

evil of any

hard, head-breaking

bewitched

not

penetration,
pray

downy peaches
jar their teeth

terribly
againstit.

thingsto be noted in such passages of


of the Victorian
George Eliot three major tendencies
novel which have, for good or ill,
gone largelyout of fashion
in the twentieth
be
is the disposition
to
century. There
edifyingin a moral way. There is the fondness for talking
the characters over
with the reader, takingsides,and letting
There

three

are

"

the reader

know

attitude

what

he

should

take. And

there

is the scientific

ing
passionfor explainingthe character, makunderstand
how
the particular
us
phenomenon before
illustrates the laws of human
in general.These
us
nature
three tendencies
are
closelyrelated and they are generally
-found together.
Thackeray wishes to make us realize the
of Amelia
when
she is neglectedby George Ossufferings
her pret"orne,and at the same
time he points out
how
dicament
is typical
of that to which
reduced by
are
women
social ordinances:

our

To

whom

and
struggles

could

little martyr
tell these
daily
poor
Her hero hijnself
only half understood

the

tortures?

THE

did

her. She

inferior,or
Given

We

to

Turks

made

them

go abroad
bonnets
their

with

weak,

to

enough,
liberally
disguisethem,

to

souls

be

must

with

one

man,

and consent
to remain
at
unwillingly,
"ministeringto us and doing drudgery for
not

It is in

similar

vein

to
to

us

thinks

put

in

us

it necessary

to

make

Irwine, because, though


he

had

no

home

with

as

enthusiasms.
theological

to

George

Eliot

them.
the

box

thinks

occasion
To

of the odious

to devote

the reader

say, from
Arnold
or

Mr.

fresh from
of

those

Slope,he

long page

to her

the

on

Rev.

Mr.

impulsiveas
it

to

proper

defense.

of the year, or, let us


James, of George Moore

the novels

Conrad

Bennett, there

prone
them

so

ear

are

defend

begs his reader not to be too hard


way
Arabin.
has been
And
when
his heroine
the

slaves

our

clergyman Mr.
feeling,
pure Christian
Trollope in the same

plea for
of

man

pink

us.

conduct,

better humor

have

yakmaks. But
and
they obey

that all these Victorians

apologizefor their characters'


and

and

and
ringlets

and

too

let their bodies

We

too.

soon.

recall it.

to

of veils and

by only

too

women,

our

her

was

modest,

woman,

smiles

instead

seen

heart
too

was

of

doctrine

our

her

much

too

affections

the

subscribe

maiden

loved

she

man

given away

bashful

pure,

21

that the

own

trustful,too

too

are

to

feel that she had


the

once,

tender,

dare

not

VICTORIANS

or

something quaint about this


Victorian
he is often apt to forgetthat he is
And
manner.
dealing here with masterpiecesof fictional art perhaps
greater than any that have since been produced. It is so hard
one's perspective,
one's historical sense,
one's
to maintain
of values, in dealing with a school
of the relativity
sense
of art

that has gone out


that the development I

is

of fashion.

am

not

at

all certain

be a kind
tracingmay not even
of degeneration accompanying the gradual decline
in
doubtless
are
vigor and spontaneity.We
incapable of
day, an art which is
rightlyappraisingthe art of our own
The
best we
do
can
expressiveof our own
sta,te of mind.
"

am

is

to

make

bothers

is that it is

in the Victorian

us

instead

much

as

people

in order

tell

not

at

such

assures

is

Bold

not

due

at

certain

it. On

point in

the odious

in love with
is

several occasions

analyze the feelingsof

to

Mr.

Arabin

of Eleanor's
with

not

had

Eleanor, and

true.

But

began
mind

with

as

soon

as

be very fond
that he wished
of her, and

himself; but

been

this

to

up
he

heard
of her

to

thought

has

It
incredulity.

with

Mr.

with

marriage

have

to

did

his

not

Slope

period
that

such

with

her

acter,
char-

some

her

Thus
of

with

one.

then, in

this

for his
think

read:

we

the

probability
but
in

not

was

some

not

one

make

wife; he

of

him

on

certainlyhad
did

He

doesn't

but

amazement,

he

that

she loved

himself.

now

situation

Eleajior, and

friend

said

does

the story, that Eleanor


Mr.
Slope.He tells us

Arabin.

Mr.

as

of his
he

feels it incumbent

he

from

heard

but

and

is in love with

Arabin

us

Trollope, for

in love

with

in love

not

not

tells

the

themselves.

that such
is

or

of

motives

feel, how

us

people
is

author

their conduct;

tellingus

that Mr.

course,

know

of

The

thoughtsor

make

not

moment,

Arabin

that Mr.

of the

these

to

us,

know

does

is fond

example,

within.

understand

to

he

us,

presents itself

He

to

instead

presentation
presented,it is from

they are

from

of

need

we

that if

or

our

of character

treatment

the characters

talkingabout

of them;
without

method

different

principleinvolved in
of story-telling.

is the artistic

what

out

preferencefor
What

NOVEL

TWENTIETH-CENTURA

THE

22

had

love

been

else, he
up

his

never

her, in connection

ing
experienced an inward indefinable feelof deep regret, a gnawing sorrow,
pression
an
unconquerable deof spirits,
and
also a speciesof self-abasement, that
he" he Mr.
Arabin"
done
had
not
something to prevent that
other
he so thoroughlydespised,
from
he, that vile he, whom
carryingoff this sweet prize.

Well,

he

precise,succinct,
say, this is all very good
ment
orderly,complete.It is a perfectly
satisfactory
generalstateyou

"

of the situation

But

it is in

no

sense

as
an

it is known

the

logicalfaculty.
imaginativepresentationof the
to

AUTHOR

EXIT

facts; and

the

to

23

that

imagination,to

facultydemanding
tory
empty and perfuncarid and superficial

that the story shall be told,it seems


an
substitute for the real thing.It is as
as

algebraicformula.

an

characters

your

make
us

feel that it is true,

us

in these

so

D.

H.

men

other

there

English writer;

is no

and

feel that

us

they

are

in

love,

if you do
all for telling

And

true.

need

at

words.
had

last,I suppose,
attraction

the

subject to

women

is

conventional

has, firstand

Lawrence

and

and

prim

that

or

the other

or

one

make

cannot

heart-whole

are

that

by tellingus

You

of

sex

as

many
as

any
generallysatisfies his readers

he

the
experience in question,however
readers may like it or dislike it. But I fancy that he has had
people'sbeing in love. He does not
very little to say about
tell us that people are
in love, but he describes their sensations.
of the

realityof

daze

had

the

come

consciousness.

over

his mind,

his breast,

In

or

he

in his

had

another

of

centre

bowels, somewhere

in

his

had

unable

to

burned

between

blind within
it,
burning there, and he was
anything, except that this transfiguration
him
and
her, connecting them, like a secret

body, there
strong lightwere
know

started

another

activity.It

was

as

if

power.

Now,
will

there

are

day

seem

some

no

doubt

features

quite as quaint as

of this
the

writing which
writingof George

Eliot, and

perhaps much less sane and wholesome,


bargain.With the vanishingof the author, there
humor, irony,the prophylacticsalt of common
And
our

yet Mr.

time; and

effort
did

to

not

texture

Lawrence

is,in his

he has made

here

into the
has

ished
vansense.

way, characteristic of
sincere and not unskilful

own
a

the Victorians
present a phase of truth in which
interest themselves
the very feel and
to render
"

of

erotic

experience;not to
but to give the
generalizations
an

tell about
items

it in intellect

of which

it is

Ill

PSYCHOLOGY:

principal

'NE

himself

between

psychology.
but

the

series

people
that

acts

of

characteristic.

We

like:

what

are

look

they

we

are

his

presents
of

exposition,

people,

and

will

sufficient

especially in

time

since

1850.

time

more

particularly

situation,
conflicts
what

are

how

the

how

of

and

day,

or

niques^
tech-

tion
characteriza-

indeed

feels

character

ous
seri-

of the

from

know

to

zation
characteri-

varying

purposes

our

wishes

reader

his

at

any

time

in

to

given

he

reacts

to

"

rendered

is called

The

the

author

the

particular predicament, what


arise in him
with
of action,
regard to his course
in genand
his motives
for acting as he does
so
eral
his feelings and
mental
in a given situation
processes
how

the

reflect

of

for

ple
peo-

on.

exposition, description,

of fiction,

writer

later

the

as

people they

which
and

(exposition),
of

sort

differentiae
to

people

what

been

has

is

narrative

of

know

description,

referred

be

generally

not

are

his

important

are

all

ordinary

But

acts

by

means

any

elementary

the

(description), what

like

to

involving
any

most

to

history

past

(characterization). The

are

wish

in

the
in

concerned

call

story

events

and

than

more

accordingly
their

of

series

we

is essential

by people,

anything

interest,

is

what

by

begin with,

To

intrude

may

is

story

form

some

It

performed
to

the

story.

events.

or

acts

or

of

what

in

author

the

and

reader

Psychology

pretends

form

the

which

in

way

simplest type

of

ELIOT

FIELDING,

in
his

the

general

of

character

characterization.

feelings

and

psychology.

mental

It may

be

him

This

detailed

processes
a

very

which

is what

different

been

has

tion
presentain

fiction

thing

from

NOVEL

TWENTIETH-CENTURY

THE

26

of the science.
by the professors
psychologyas understood
is clear, and its applicationin
But
the originof the word
do not
fiction is legitimateenough if we
try to relate it
too
closelyto the scientific use of the word. Psychology is
the psyche
in the narrative art that concerns
that element
that is,the subjective
aspect of experience.
oneself with the subjective
The
dispositionto concern
and
more
growing more
aspect of experience has been
in fiction,at least in English fiction,since about
dominant
of the nineteenth
the middle
century^It reached a peak in
its
the novels of Henry James, but it did not there reach
and
limit. And
their
extreme
Joyce and Virginia Woolf
concerned
school are even
more
extensivelyand intensively
such a dewith psychologythan James and his school. To
gree
that critics rightand left are bewailing the complete
disappearancein such work of plot that is,of the objective
"

"

element
which

makes

enough,
of

in

fiction, of the

the

there

are

story

to

series of

begin

certain

of

with.

the

events

And

devices

and

acts

yet, curiously
and

procedures

almost altogether
nineteenth-century psychology which were
abandoned
by James and his following,and which

have

not

been

taken

up

to

any

extent

by Joyce

and

his

school.
One

of these

analysis.This

procedures is

what

consists in the author's

is called

psychological
explainingwhat, in

the motives
ing
determingeneralor at a given juncture,were
the person'saction, especially
when
the motives
are
entangle
complicatedor obscure and requiresome
ingenuityto disThis procedure did not originate
or
bring to light.
in the nineteenth
time

be found
from time to
may
in eighteenth-century
in that
novelists and especially

century, but

and satirical writer Fielding.In "Tom


philosophical
Jones," for example, he wishes us to understand
why that
fellow Blifil,
disliked
mean
knowing that Sophia Western
him, and not being properlyin love with her himself, still
insisted on paying court
to her.

great

FIELDING

PSYCHOLOGY:

say the truth, Blifil had

To

he
reception,

his

he

himself

and

with

Western

to

it

satisfied,unless

means

of the hatred

convinced

was

by*no

was

againstSophia;

passed sentence
declared

pleasedhe had

for,however

27

that

was

of his mistress:

scorn

and

hatred and scorn


in him.
produced no less reciprocal
then did he not
diate
It may, perhaps,be asked, Why
put an immeall further
for that very
end
to
courtship?I answer,
well as for several others equally good, which
we
as
reason,
shall now
proceed to open to the reader.
Though Mr._Blifilwas not of the complexion of Jones,nor
far from
he saw;
being
ready to eat every woman
yet he was
which
is
said
be
the
destitute of that appetite^
to
common
this had

tinguishingf
taste,
of the
him

consider

into

the soul of

mind

of

for her

which

dis-

choice

this

and
appetites;

desires

same

he

who

hath

viewed

taught

morsel, indeed
ortolan

an

to

inspires

he

this served

contrary,

further

of her
and

person,
revenge

was

discovered

rather

to
as

views, from
which
itself

it in

ortolan

riflingher charms,

some

eyes, and her breasts rose


hath seen
beauty in its

one

seen

her last;nor

which

her

no

never

this human

on

aversion

in

brightnessto

sighs.Indeed,

her

looked

he had

most

in their

men

delicious

that

an

added

tears

highest lustre

the

the

likewise

the agonies which


affected the
epicure.Now
Sophia,rather augmented than impaired her beauty;

higher with

when

of their several
as

had

direct

to

serves

Sophia

with

regard her

which

food

objector

to

this, he

With
of_all_animah.

property

we
was

distress. Blifil therefore

with

greater desire

his desire
in her

at

all lessened

himself.

to

than

On

by
the

heighten the pleasurehe proposed


it added
to
lust;
triumph
nay,
the
absolute
obtaining
sion
possesdetest
not

too

much

without

to

even

its share

tion;
men-

in

the

which
he promised himself. The
gratifications
rivalling
poor
and
her
him
Jn
added
another
affections^
supplanting
Jones,
and
another
additional
to his pursuit,
promised
rapture
spur
his
to
enjoyment.
Besides
all these views, which
to some
scrupulous persons
may

seem

to

which
And
to

too

few

readers

this

be settled

much

savour

on

was

his

will

of malevolence,

regard

^the
..estate of Mr.

daughter and

her

with

he had

great

any

Westenii^which
issue; for

one

so

pect,
prosrence.
abhorwas

all

extravagant

THE

was

the affection

would

but

he cared

he

not

intended

and
he
the

by

desirous

so

of the match

that

love

her;

Sophia,by pretendingto

her.

In
who

pietyof Thwackum,

his

and

father

her

beloved

was

Blifil was

deceive

to

deceive

to

pricehe purchasedhim.
Mr.

reasons

doing

the

As

means.

taught,that

philosophyof Square, which


that

so

rectitude.

which
or

To

the

say truth, there

he could

other

not

draw

of those great

few

were

the

wicked

how

end

terial,
imma-

was

occurrences

advantage from

the

the

apply

to

consistent with

fair and

were

means

proposedwas

not

used

occasions, he

of

himself

availed

this he

held, that if the end

other

to

pretending

uncle, by

own

it mattered
religious
(assurelymatrimony is),
were

he chose,

the husband

with

be miserable

to

what

at

parent, that, providedhis child

of that fond

consent

these

For

NOVEL

TWENTIETH-CENTURY

28

moral

in life

precepts of

on

one

masters.

pointsto be observed in this


significant
trating
illusall of them
analysis,
psychological
does not greatlycharacterize
the sort of thing which
novel,
the expressionistic
either the well-made
novel nor
but which
of the conceptionof the novel as a
out
grows
is
here who
philosophical
essay. It is clearlythe author
talkingabout his character; there is no attempt to identify
There

are

many
earlyexample of

himself
his

with

in any way to "dramatize"


the
to
is that reference
mentality.There

the character

or
feelings

reader

which

indicates

of

of scornful

that the author

is

self
addressinghim-

philosopherto another. The


an
unsympatheticcharacter; he is
him, explaininghim to the reader with
irony.The psychologyof the character

directlyto him as
author
is dealing with

franklyoutside

nor

one

tone

is

generalizedso that the reader

to

the present situation


"Though Mr. Blifil

how his reactions


see
may
up.
fall in with his generalmoral make-

Jones
appetite

yet he

...

His

was

was

not

far from

of the

being

complexion of

destitute

of

that

."
.

that is,in
psychologyis analyzed;

this case, the author

PSYCHOLOGY:

for
reactions.

There
Blifil

in which

two

were

the

meets

all the

of his character

is said

to

beauty
And

present

in its

the

give an
which

incidental
he

has

earlier part of the book.


This philosophical
tone

prizeFielding;the
are

among

find

to

who

and

Sophia more

since "no
hath

will
thrust

tions
reac-

not
at

hath

one

never

tive
attrac-

of the

is one

and

the chief

let pass the opportunity


certain vicious philosoph

thingsfor

humanness

reasons

seen

it in distress."

seen

elaboratelyexposed

more

soundness

ure.
pleas-

of that petite
apmals."
aniof
all
property

common

of mind,

highestlustre

his

so

"destitute

not

was

for him

state

him,

general laws of psychology

the

also, the author

then
to

be

to

natural

was

in her

to

refers the motives

they exemplify.Blifil
It

aversion

of her

all this,the author

which

desires her

he

of
complicationor multiplication

is a

Besides

which

distress;and

ardently because

more

that there

seeming paradoxesin the way


situation. He finds Sophia all the

of her

attractive because

more

tinguish
involved, and further dissubtleties, or refinements, in his

certain

us

29

motives

the several

enumerates

FIELDING

for

in

which

an

we

of his characterizati

placinghim

so

self
high in our pantheon. There is no doubt that he himerary
regarded his philosophyas what gave weight to a litform which
was
generallyso frivolous and negligible.
one
placehe describes his introductoryessays as a "kind

very

In

ot mark

or

stamp, which

reader
historic

kind

to

hereafter
may
what is true
distinguish

enable
and

indifvery ferent
genuine in this
a

feit."
writing,from what is false and counterThe
novelist
point is that the ordinary light-weight
is incapableof producing a serious essay, as incapableas
his compositions
the ordinaryessayist
is of prefacing
with a
Latin motto,
Greek
like "the ingenious author of the
or
Spectator."

of

NOVEL

TWENTIETH-CENTURY

THE

3o

distinctlythe most
philosophicalof
Fielding was
novelists!and we do not again encounter
eighteenth-century
analysisuntil
anything comparable to his psychological
novelists of the nineteenth
to those highlyphilosophical
come
we
These
century George Eliot and George Meredith.
indeed
writers are
more
given to psychology
infinitely
who
makes
than Fielding,
by comparison the impressionof
of action. These
rians
Victobeing a bold and simple narrator
anxious
about the morals
of their people;there
are
so
is

romantic

more

cast

to

their sentiment;

and

in many

general complexion is such as to distinguish


writer. There
is
sharplyfrom any eighteenth-century
ers
to readsomething in their tone which is indeed irritating
there is something
to-daywhere Fielding is not irritating;
of analyzingpsychologywhich
in their manner
feres
interways
them

their

the flow and

with

more

naturalness

of the story, and


reaction
toward
a
more

inevitablyproduced the
"dramatic"
technique.And yet, when
they are examined
features of psychological
we
distinguishthe same
closely,
analysisas we have found in the passage about Blifil.
George Eliot often goes behind the apparent motive to
which
is the
something lyingdeeper in the consciousness
which

main

of conduct.

determinant

Arthur

Donnithorne

behind

such

which
"there

an

Arthur
was

was

to

had

at
sort

work"

in the

Bede"

explicitresolution
or
hardly aware,

motive

"which

in "Adam

Thus

of

she

pointsout how
lay an implicitone of
how, still deeper down,

under

of backstairs

reflections

such

and

influence

such
not

an

tude,
atti-

admitted

himself."
But

it

in "Middlemarch"

that

George Eliot did her


remarkable
work
in this line. She had evidentlybeen
most
studying the science of psychology as it then existed, and
of the lightto be thrown
not
was
unaware
on
psychological
processes

was

from

the

study

of physiology. Most

interesting is

ELIOT

PSYCHOLOGY:

analysisof the
wealthy banker

her
is

fortune

whose

diverted

and

in

him

from

the

it. He

is

to

inherited

have

founded

was

Bulstrode.

processes of Mr.
deep and sincere

mental
of

31

not

religiousfaith,
line of business

dishonest
who

person

should

rightly

plain hypocrite,but

He

at

all

obliged to persuade himself


that what he was
doing was reallyto the gloryof God. This
should now
call it,is careas we
fully
process of "rationalizing,"
analyzed in Chapter LXI, for example.
certain point in the story there turns
Then
at
a
up a
stages of his

has

career

is the

Raffles. He

named

character

drunken

been

only

who

one

wrong-doing,and is capable of exposing


and the whole country-side.
Bulstrode
is
lies to prevent his wife's learning
some

of Bulstrode's

knows
him

to

compelled

his wife
tell

to

the facts from

Raffles,and

this is

of great distress

cause

him.

to

Bulstrode

For

of

many

these

which

movements

misdeeds

are

not

direct

of his

the number

to
disproportionate

But

from

shrank

an

indirect

more

like

were

taken

lie with

the

subtle

intensity
misdeeds.
muscular

of in the conscious-

account

though they bring about the end that we fix our mind
it is only what
desire. And
we
are
vividlyconscious of
can
vividlyimagine to be seen by Omniscience.

ness,

and
we

Here

is

notion, wherever

Eliot

picked
psychologywell

George

on

that

it up,

not
aware
merely of a
stronglysuggestive,
bases of behavior, but also of the Freudof the physiological
ian
This notion is more
less
or
theory of the Unconscious.
carried through in the account
of the spiritual
predicament
in which
Bulstrode
finds himself. It would
be greatly
now
to

his interest if Raffles

Bulstrode's
warned
And
would
out

were

dead.

And

Raffles is

now

in

house

ill. Dr. Lydgate has specially


critically
againsthis being given any alcoholic stimulant.
Bulstrode
fortunate
it
cannot
help thinking how
be if Raffles were
given something to drink and put

of the way.

It is

now

that the doctor

makes

visit,and

BUTLER

PSYCHOLOGY:

of the

boys,on

could

mark

was

swearing and
not
enough to

so

that he

of each

name

boy

guiltyof smoking, of drinking beer, or of


this was
using obscene language. But even
the inquisitorial
satisfy
passionof Ernest's

depravityrevealed to them,
flinched, but probed and probed, till they were
pair never
delicate than they had
the point of reaching subjects
more

No

on

form

mother.

father and

the

tabular

after the

in little squares

he

whether

arranged in

card

33

yet touched

Here

upon.
made

and

up

awful

how

matter

the

was

resistance

unequal,by tumbling

self took

Ernest's unconscious

him

which

to

off his chair

his conscious
in

fit of

the

ter
mat-

self

was

fainting.

and highly
(1902)is a delightful
nary
book, but it is hardly a novel at all in the ordisignificant
and it is
It is autobiography thinly disguised,
sense.

"The

Way

of All Flesh"

with

in the historical manner,

written

narrative, here and

maximum

of eralized
genbrief and

sprinkledwith
and episodes.
vivid anecdotes
Besides, it is too franklyand
formula
to the customary
baldly philosophicalto conform
much
of his note-books
into
of fiction. Butler dumped
so
left for the development
each chapter that little room
was
of story or
The
want
one

reason

with

along

there

drama.

pretensionsto novelistic technique is


why we so readilyswallow Butler's psychology
the other philosophical
elements.
Another
son
reaof

is Butler's

all

tone,

which

eighteenthcentury,

is the

and

dry

of the rationalistic

tone

the romantic

not

tone

of the

Victorians.
In

the

mixture

Victorians
of

Eliot, the

the

what

rational

often
and

psychology itself
What

being there, outside

bothers

us

irritates

the
is

is the strange
sentimental.
In George
us

highly interestingand

is the

sense

we

have

the characters, examining them

lumina
il-

of her
for

our

benefit.

the

characters

the

air

about

is

It

of

has
the

is

safety

of
of

an

her

tearful

conducted.

us.

pointer

teacher,
air

often

toward

and

the

NOVEL

moralistic,

the

investigation

whole

she

TWENTIETH-CENTURY

THE

54

in

anxious

chicks.

It

is

her

Toward
hand.

us

Toward

motherly

in

tone

which

attitude
she

has

the

hen,

the
toward

so

much

characters
concerned

IV

MEREDITH

PSYCHOLOGY:

O, FNE
is that
of

she

the

not,

far

which

the

of

comedy
follow

to

With

familiar

Eliot,

the

the

of

of

plot.

In

of

in

the

to

hush

they

seek

Sir

is

in

them

Austin

the

do

all

of

what

their

feel

on

the

for

of

the

example,
'

35

narily
ordi-

What

for

it is the

good

they
the

"

aim

never

of

What

about

they

selves,
them-

objective

sentiments

really

past

are
so

elevation

utmost

ment
mo-

satisfaction

ordinary

their

is

calls

than

more

ultimate

worth

own

is

he

sentimentalists.

to

manipulating

appearance

Feverel,

is

ordinary

tangible worldly

The

are

some

process

willing

are

subjective;

else

the

in

values.

and

consciences.

depend

not

measuring
art

they

vanity. They

than

they
the

of which

mate
ulti-

the

gratification,

is, people

definite

difficult

more

character,

subjective

something

moral

for

standards

purely

their

up

more

and

give

is

psychological

that

much

so

interests

own

masters

the

selfish

some

lies

describe.

to

by

the

people,
with

not

endeavor

their

is

Meredith

"civilized"

is

their

desired

George

wherein

sophisticated affair, involving

after

good,

thing

aspect

than

heart"

analysis

difficult

process,

concerned
are

His

the

was

technical

tangible good, easily definable

more

highly

of

"twists

more

mechanism

Meredith

given

more

even

subtle

this

with

sentiments.

much

and

much

the

and

goal

terms

the

psychologist

as

exhibiting.

was

was

Eliot

physiological

the

concerned
he

But

tracing

to

she

know,

as

psychology.

Eliot

with

concerned

was

processes

so

of

peculiarities of George

of the

as

and

so

much

to
finement.
re-

concerned

NOVEL

TWENTIETH-CENTURA

THE

36

take the

to

will be best for his

which

course

son

persuade himself that he has taken that


for turning
not
His famous
so much
course.
System is a means
the moral
human
out
a perfect
productas for flattering
he learns of
and
intellectual vanity of Sir Austin. When
Richard's
infatuation
for Lucy, he is obliged to take an
the young
attitude of severitytoward
people in order to
think well of himself and his System.
The
situation
same
repeats itself in aggravatedform
after the unauthorized
marriage of Richard and Lucy. And
devotes an entire chapter,entitled "Nursing the
Meredith
Devil/' to a study of Sir Austin's reactions to this second
and
irreparableintrusion on his experiment,following
round
and round
the "twists of the heart"
by which he
able
himself
into the position
maneuvers
thatjs most comfortRichard

to

as

for

himself, at the

him

that it makes

time

same

sible
respon-

for the

of the story.
tragicoutcome
"The
Egoist"is not a tragedy.But here we have the same
for
It is necessary
sophistication.
processes of sentimental
the moral comfort
of Sir Willoughby to persuadehimself
and the world that he can
with nothing but the
be content

best. Arid

when

so,

he

is obliged to make
be

to
act

paragon

hand
"

to

fear

that Laetitia is the


that it would

very

fine

be

but

woman

woman

generous
the

not

Vernon.

about

set

colours,like

to

her

painting Laetitia

delectable

in

beautiful.

Her

was,

miniature

he

swimming air,a

image of the old


of being known

result in him

beauty,and

visible

taller stature,

the

"

Clara, he

have

cannot

of the past century, reserving


world
ideal figurefor his privatesatisfaction. The
to
was

human

bow

his cousin
he

think

moreover,

Clara

over

Forthwith

her

himself

and,
preferred;

to

finds that he

witch
to

have

who
been

gave

eyelasheson

and

enamel

glow,

transcendencythat exorcised
had
a

that Laetitia became

dark

her

the

driven
second

him

time

this

[the
The
jilted?].
to

humanly and avowedly


pallorof her cheeks lent

"THE
their aid
it

so

But

deed

performed

already[some

to him,
necessity

was

later]he

pages

his executioner.

as

37

the transformation, which

to

was

EGOIST'

dreaded

He

had

begun to regard the


meeting Clara. The folly

having retained her stood before him. How


her and
keep a sane resolution unwavering?
of

look

to

now

on

She

tempted to
she been away, he could have walked
the insane. Had
through
the
the performancecomposed by
self:
of doing a duty to himsense
perhaps faintlyhating the poor wretch he made
happy
in a manner,
C
lara's
to her
at last,kind
polite.
presence in the
house previousto the deed, and oh, heaven!
after it,threatened
his

Pride?

wits.

had

He

it back

trample it; he caught


had

pride:he

his

misery.But

I do

is

had

it

he

was

he

none;

as

ere

too

and

countenance

time, yes. And

was

trodden

his breast:
submit

said the words, and

right."He

path, till the questionclamoured


world

it down

it

dagger in
proud to

cast

Clara's

now?

his

an

to

pridewas

misery."What

to

smoothed

his

Would

the

answer:

pride in

her

Yes, he

on.

rectitude

for
his

endorse

for

Laetitia? At
laid

beauty ascended,

one

beam

on

him.
We

mixes
one
to

cries

when

storm,

board

on

are

him,

the

ship,that

Laetitia

labouring vessel of humanity in a


countercries
ring out, disorderliness
divides: this
fury of self-preservation

and

and

the crew,
is for the

the

the

for his life. Clara

one

latter. But

if there

what

the former

was

might

be

not

than in casting
to Clara
greater safetyin holding tenaciously
her off for Laetitia? No, she had done
things to set his pride

throbbing in
that

but

the

quick.

appetitewas

his purposes.

nothing

to

thrilled

burningly to

who

could

be

admirable

Fie
.

so

short-lived

"I discard all


smart

magnanimous
he, the

might

hold

to

in him

for ance;
vengeif it ministered

vengeance,"he said,and

in his admiration
under

her

mortal

of

the

man

injury:for the
a drop or
two
of publicpity.

He drank
pitiable.
like a poison,repellingthe assaults
of self-pity
be given up. It must
be seen
Clara
must
by the world that,
he felt, the thing he did was
of his own
as
right.Laocoon
serpents, he struggledto a certain magnificenceof attitude in
the muscular
of constrictions he flungaround
himself. Clara
net
more

more

be

must

up:
blood
to

given up.

but

to

not

bright Abominablel

touch

whose

one

be

extinguisher;to

of her

the second

semi-recluse, disgracedin his first

might
if she should

taught

think

to

what

she

wife

must

As

of

darts

be

be

must

be

given
in

the

given

up
old-fashioned

an

the instinct of self-

...

whispered to Willoughby,
preservation
be

She
would

in his bed:

snakes
yielder,

of the

an

NOVEL

TWENTIETH-CENTURA

THE

38

it

the world,

it

were

assuredlywould

not

site,
requithink

trippingto the altar with Horace De Craye.


that whisper. He
breathed
not
Self-preservation,
vengeance,
sire
of it,without
glanced at her iniquityfor a justification
any deher a permanent
hurt: he was
to do
highly civilized: but
with

be

seen

strong intention

supposing
"And

so

Whitford,

I have

scandal,

give her all die


ordinary tattle.

to

or

handed

he
who

her

opened

transcribed

to

his cousin

his mouth

only

and

benefit of the scandal,

and
shut

very small

secretary, Vernon
his

eyes."

portionof

this

ter,
chap-

ety
entirelygiven over to Meredith's variof psychological
analysis.
Meredith's
varietyincludes all the features of Fielding's
and
of his own.
George Eliot's, with certain specialties
Some
of his specialties
tend in the direction of "dramatization,"
but the philosophical
features are
and authorial
so
which

much

more

must

who

held

is almost

marked
have

than

been

the ideal of

even

still

more

in

George
the

Eliot that Meredith

despair of

novelists

the art of fiction from


distinguishing
that of history,
philosophy,the essay, or any other form of
The
author
is there with a vengeance,
exposition.
izing
generalthe psychologyof his character and analyzinghis feelings,
what he thought he felt from what he
distinguishing
outside
the mind
reallyfelt. He stands to a large extent
of the character, looking in; he may
be scornful in his
not
irony,but he joinswith the comic spiritin watching the
fun of a fine mind
"His retinue of imps had a
gone wrong.
revel/' More
extensivelythan George Eliot he refers the
reader
the general laws of human
which
to
nature
are
exemplified by the antics of tys character. He is never

MEREDITH

PSYCHOLOGY:

about

through tellingus
or
quoting from the
more

any

than

another

not

seldom

and

propheticvein

The

to

which
and

of

assert

the

course

that

of

can
can

be

Victorian

in the vein

the

abstract

not

hesitate

the reader

address

to

rectly,
di-

of exhortation, in the

Carlyle brings over

that he
is

put

does

Egoism. He

of

everything in

novel

in

Sentimentalism

Carlyle.

of

mention

realization
times

Book

39

to

be allowed

is

not

ajform
the
to

one

Meredith

with

that

properly a

rush

the

one

at

leads

novelist

at

all. Of

and
of: ^i^mt"_glasticit^,

greatest

varietyoT

include

"The

Three

one

genre
Musketeers"

uses.

Things Past," need surely not


and
hesitate to extend
Feverel"
its hospitality
to "Richard
"Diana
of the Crossways."And
with a writer as brilliant
and
in the
wise as Meredith
as
we
are
obliged of course,
end, to take him as he is,and, for his shortcomings,to regard
them
simply as the ddfauts de ses qualites.
tures
Still,there is nothing to prevent us from noting the feaof even
which
irritate us. In approacha great writer
ing
any writer your satisfaction or disappointment depend
what you are looking for. In the case
of Meredith, there
on
time when
I came
was
a
to him
looking for wisdom, and
was
completely satisfied. He gave me wisdom, and he gave
it in a form
and its
that stimulated
me
by its originality
gnomic subtlety.His cleverness I loved, his pyrotechnic
display of verbal ingenuity.When
people spoke of the
faults of his styleI would
listen.
not
In recent
returned
Meredith
to
looking
years I have
not

of

"Remembrance

for wisdom

but

for story, for that modest


of the ways of men
which
I had

and

self-

found
in
effacingrecord
Maupassant and SigridUndset, in Jane Austen and Thomas
Hardy. And this I did not find, or I found it so involved
with intellectual gymnastics,with didactic intention, that

"RICHARD

referred

41

the Scientific Humanist;

to as

Autumn

FEVEREL"

Primrose; Adrian

Lady

is the Wise

is the

Blandish

Mount

Mrs.

Youth;

is the Enchantress.
The

but
the
to

when
is a

symbol

the

remove

put

veil

one

often

tions,
to abstracgivingconcreteness
it comes
to concrete
thingsand to persons,
dubious
help to the imagination.It is likely
to
subjectone degree farther from reality,

is a

symbol

between

more

seems

if Meredith

as

eloquent appearances
like other
the aim

of

means

and

us

if he could

of the

French

naturalists

that

But Meredith, somehow,


subject.

likeness. He
render
likes

He

does

thingsso

things so

not

does

relyon

not

take the

painsto

that

commentary

well

no

make

of

features
distracting
This

tone.

Feverel,"

where

mentary.
com-

of their

the

speaking
it speaking,

is necessary.
In short, he

himself.
the commentary
with the subject.
interfering

of the

it,

fectly
per-

sufficient

furnish

to

is forever
One

render

the

I take

It was,

their

It

them,

trust

not

own
they were
to
give a speaking likeness

aimed

They

to

world.

things,in

faith in

wanted

of life,as

breathing

writers, to speak for themselves.

in themselves

to

the

is his

of Meredith

is felt in all his work, but

certainty
un-

in "Richard

it is

unfortunate, we
can
particularly
its very origin.
"Richard
Feverel" obviouslystarted on
trace
down
cut
a
burlesque tone. The earlychapters,so much
in the second
edition (now the current
version),
present a
purely ridiculous Scientific Humanist, surrounded
by a
of farcical female
idolaters. But
the subjectwas
court
too
for the

serious

tone

Lady Blandish,
in

names

his "crucible

farce, and

the

of

name

the

of the cruder

dignityand
Richard

and

tragicthan
the scheme.

which

on

the

Lucy, so
the
But

reader

refuse

feels

comedy,

part she has


more

human

to

be

throughout

"Blandish,"

much

and

started. Sir Austin

woman,"

Restoration

serious

he

to

modeled
with

compati
in-

the
on

the

her essential

play.Then
and

tures
crea-

so

much

come
more

burlesquesubjectcalls for, and quite upset


still Meredith
has begun with a burlesque

of Sir Austin

treatment

carries him

or

more

trouble

The

NOVEL

TWENTIETH-CENTURY

THE

42

less

with

the

and

of this

momentum

book.

through the

this method,

start

the

apart from

someness
tire-

mere

with

is that it surrounds
of the artificial style,

its

it is important
air characters whom
poisonoussophisticated
should
that we
approach in all simplicity not merely Sir
and
but Richard
selves.
Austin
and
Lucy themLady Blandish
the irony
The
never
burlesque comedian
gets over
of the fact that these healthyyoung
souls are accomplishing
instinct what
better by mere
Sir Austin
ously
much
is laboriso
working out with his System. And the whole lovemaking of Richard and Lucy is served up to us in an odious
sauce
curiouslycompounded of tender sentiment, whimsical
sententious
losophy
phipatronage, enthusiastic nature-description,
It is wort^iwhile quoting
and burlesque humorl
a rather
long passage, that describingthe first meeting of
the young
lovers, to show how a superbly conceived
scene
and the finest sensitiveness to beauty may
be almost
gether
altoa
spoiledby the intrusion of philosophichumor
that I have chosen
here not
the exla Carlyle.And
note
tremest
example of this phenomenon, but rather the passage
Meredith
in which
in
the
to simplicity
nearest
comes
of human
beings.The passage is introduced
presentment
"When
has
nature
by the chillingphilosophicgenerality,
"

"

ripe for love, it seldom occurs


behind-hand
in furnishinga temple
the set piece:
then comes
made

Above

green-flashing
plunges of

white,

the reeds. Meadow-sweet


among
with weed
and trailingbramble,

hung

of earth. Her
flexible brim

nodding,

face

that left her


sent

forth

shoulders, and

behind,

shadow, almost

golden

and

shaded

was

lipsand

for the

weir, and

below, lilies,
golden and

thunder

that die

us

from

there

by

chin

flame."

shaken

swaying

were

the

also

broad

Fates

And

by

straw

in the sun,

thick

ter
daugh-

hat

and

with
times
some-

lightof promising eyes. Across


flowed
large loose curls, brown
a

where

the

ray touched

them.

the

anchor

at

banks

hung

are

She

her
in
was

UNCERTAINTY

TONE

OF

simplydressed, befitting
decency and
inspection
you might

see

that her

the

43
On

season.

stained. This

lipswere

closer
ing
bloom-

tween
regalingon dewberries. They grew bethe bank
and the water.
Apparently she found the fruit
abundant, for her hand
was
making pretty progress to her
Fastidious
mouth.
youth, which revolts at woman
plumping
her exquisite
and
would
proportionson bread-and-butter,
(we
must
suppose)joyfullyhave her scraggy to have her poetical,
can
hardlyobjectto dewberries. Indeed the act of eatingthem
is dainty and induces
musing. The dewberry is a sister to the

person

young

lotus

and

was

innocent

an

occupied,and

are

it was

with

the

the damsel

up

above

the

flashed
kingfisher

sister. You

eat:

mouth,

undrugged

mind

free

who

knelt

there. The

eye, and

to

roam.

hand

And

so

little skylarkwent

southern
cloud
her, all song, to the smooth
lying
from
dark
the
her
blue;
a dewy copse
over
along
nodding hat
the blackbird
fluted, callingto her with thrice mellow
note:

heron

out

containing a dreamy youth; and

her

and

ate,

as

if no

if she wished

as

of green osiers: a bow-winged


aloft,seeking solitude: a boat slippedtoward

travelled

emerald

for one,

knew

or

the green shaven


meadows, the
weir-fall's thundering white, amid

by

wild
a

flowers,she

was

terrible attraction

bit of

[an

not

her wishes. Surrounded

pastoralsummer
the

lovelyhuman

allusion

Magnetic Youth leaned round


and beheld the sweet
weir-piles,

plucked the fruit,

and
invadingher territories,

fairyprincewere
not

stillshe

to

to

the

note

breath

buzz, the

and

beauty of
life in a fair setting;
Magnetic Age]. The
his proximity to the

vision.

though there are great


of art brought togetherto the making of it. The
elements
natural
descriptionis at pointsunsurpassed:there is an
freshness and magic to the atmosphere which
outdoor
only
could
evoke.
But
Meredith
every time he has begun to
he breaks it up with some
over
one
cast his spell
unhandy
self-conscious move.
and
It is largelythe System that is
It is the System which requires
that the girlshould
to blame.
vision and a terrible
be a daughter of earth and a sweet
attraction,and that the boy should be the Magnetic Youth,
I cannot

think

this is great art,

THE

It is the

System

boy

NOVEL

TWENTIETH-CENTURY

44

whom

which
know

we

and

in, to the inferior

interested

are

Feverel,

Richard

from

him

reduces

ing
plumpyouth, which revolts at woman
with a venher exquisiteproportions."Here
geance
enters
from Sir Austin. "The
the burlesquestyle
taken over
damsel"
is pre-Raphaelitismout
of place."Making pretty
rank

of "fastidious

her mouth"

to

progress
and
bad

of
progeny
Meredith

"this

But

always has

playing,and
of

self-consciousness

Victorian

torian
blooming young person" is Vic"wedded
the System" and begettinga
to
taste
intolerable burlesque.

taste.

bad

is

is mere

it

system

or

generallyresults

in

some

It is this very

tone.

feature

with

other

dubious

which

he

which

tion
complica-

giveshis

work

so

than, say, that of George Eliot


or
Anthony Trollope. It is partlythis, too, which givesso
much
from
them
sparkleand varietyto his effects,saves
much

"modern"

more

"flatness"

and

this mixed
a

air

an

There

monotony.

tone

is handled

peculiarbeauty. But

his

he

is apt at any moment


is so fatal to the illusion.

The

in which

case

to

the

with

his

tact

are

out

and

results

but

sure,

in

and

tone

is that of his

is

most

vant
rele-

psychological

passing from the outside


point of view of an author explaining the motives of the
character
of a character
ing
thinkto the inside point of view
his thoughts in terms
natural to his own
mentality.So
analysis.For

we

have

here

reached

analysisproper
which
do

marks
more

is the aim

good

deal

his advance

find

in which

in that falsetto that

complicationof

present discussion

pages

perfecttact
is anything

break

to

many

we

the
and

him

border

the

over

difficult to follow.

between

"dramatization"

of the well-made
of such

line

psychological

of consciousness

novel. For Meredith

does

dramatizing,and it is this which


George Eliot as well as renders him

MEREDITH

PSYCHOLOGY:

the

In

there is an
about

insensible

the character
of the

He

been

he could

away,

the author's

to

She

look

on

tempted

walked

have

follyof having

The

now

unwavering?

example,
statement

ment,
rendering,without comimaginings of Sir Willoughby:

Clara.

resolution

for

the direct

to

How

Willoughby,

from

transition

meeting
him.

before

Sir

thoughts and

dreaded

stood

about

long passage

45

to

retained

her

and

the

insane.

keep

Had

oh, heavenl

had

he

none;

back

dagger
And
Sir

it

ere

trodden

was

in his breast; his

forth,

so

that he

himself,

of the
not

wits.

Pride?

the
He

trample it; he caught


had
pride: he had it as

his

pridewas

his

in

to

Yes, he

the end

to

Willoughby

for her
on.

she

the

after it, threatened

it down

cast

sane

posed
performancecomhimself: perhaps faintly

through

of doing a duty to
by the sense
hating the poor wretch he made happy at last,kind to her
manner,
polite.Clara's presence in the house previousto

deed, and

her

it
a

misery.

paragraph.Note

Meredith,

who

that it is

says

self)
(to him-

pride,and then takes it back. Yes, he


says, he has pride;it is a dagger in his breast.
has for a moment
allowed
Sir Willoughby to
Meredith
do his own
thor,
thinking without any explanationsby the aubut now,
in beginning the next
paragraph, he feels
board
are
on
impelled to explain the situation to us. "We
the labouring vessel of humanity in a storm," etc. After
this philosophicalreminder
he is soon
a"ain inside the
of Sir Willoughby. "But
consciousness
what if there might
be greater safetyin holding tenaciously
than
not
to Clara
in castingher off for Laetitia. No, she had
done
things to
he goes on,
set his pride throbbing in the quick." And
so
of Willoughby,
page after page, half the time in the mind
half the time
hovering above it with his philosophical
ironic

comment.

is

sure

not

view
that

is

has

no

And

whether

then

there

are

it is the author

times
or

when

the reader

the character

whose

breathed
not
given."Self-preservation,
vengeance,
He glancedat her iniquityfor a justification
whisper.

of it,without

is

This
of the

making
in the

own

to

do

her

Willoughby

Is

ing
defend-

of his conscience?
for the relative ineffectiveness

reasons

strong is Meredith's

So

hurt."

permanent

distinction, or

court

of the

one

method.

that his

desire

any

it the author
himself

NOVEL

TWENTIETH-CENTURY

THE

46

of the

statements

dramatic

instinct

reactions

character's

must

by the mentalityof the character; so inveterate


acter's
bias that the inner pictureof the charphilosophical
consciousness
be colored by the author's irony,
must

be colored
is his

author's

the

didacticism.

continually penetrate

The

each

inner

other

in

and
a

the

subtle, sometimes

There
often bewildering manner.
fascinating,
of turning to the lightthe
Meredith's
way
of

the

characters

Browning;
presentment
or

"Caliban

Browning

"

but
that

that
there

reminds

view

outer

is much

in

consciousness

of his contemporary
that purity of dramatic

one

is seldom

like "My Last Duchess"


has in poems
shares all the obscurityof
Setebos." He

one

upon
the obscuritywhich

derives

from

the dramatic

of

he has
projectingpsychological
processes. And
of mixing the dramatic
the added
obscuritythat comes
with the philosophical,
of passingback and forth constantly
without
those different planes of
and
warning between
it is so hard
to
vision, planes which
get into the same
picture.
for objectionto Meredith's
But the main
method
reason
main
the obscurity.The
is not
trusion
objection is that the inof the philosopher in Meredith
stroys
so
constantlydethe illusion created by the dramatizingof consciousness.
He
is forever worrying and badgering the creatures
of his imagination.He takes away
with one
hand
what he
hand
he creates
a
giveswith the other. With one
living
discree
being and with the other he deals the mortal blow of indissection. So that we
might say that his analysis
almost cancels the effect of his imagination.That
is what
for the characters, like Richwe
not
ard
might say, if it were
manner

Feverel

and

Clara

Middkton,

whom

he

so

largely

MEREDITH

PSYCHOLOGY:

stories

excellent
of

save

so

hard

which

he
It

personal
the
to

of

operation
in

dramatis

his

which
tries

the

from

exempts

people
make

of

them,

his

47

involves

generally
is

the

perhaps

Meredith

from

psychological

for

and

analysis,

whole

die

stories

moving
being

the

what

specimens.

he

PSYCHOLOGY:

the

back

reader

PROUST

the

to

point

49

which

from

the

first one

started.
where
all is digression.
speak of digressions
But I use the term
as it would
apply if the objectwere
in a story. Everything is digression
arrive somewhere
to
contribute
which
does not
to an
understanding,or to the
the objectis to
of the action. But with Proust
movement,
of experience,including any circumstances
recapture the whole
in the course
of the narrative,
brought to mind
the time of writing he is
and all the reflections which
at
It is not

to

exact

the past from


the accumulated
wisdom
of the present. There
thread of interest,
is, to be sure, a main
constituted
relations of the supby the sentimental
posed
moved

make

to

writer

Albertine.

on

Gilberte, the Duchess

to

is the

Gilberte

But

de

and

Guermantes,

daughter

of Swann's

wife;

belonging to the familyof the Duchess de Guermantes


the Marquis de Saint-Loup and the Comte
de Charlus.
that, before we can have the historyof Gilberte, we must

and
are

So

have

that

of Swann

whom

he

married;

and

issues

side

voluminous
thematic

Monsieur

relation

between

there

de

is between

Charlus.

de

And

of

volume
that

true

the

demi-monde
mantes
Guer-

historyof Saint-Loupand

after

It is

the

in Madame

interest

volume

consume

of

woman

sentimental

chronicle.

the narrator,

the

and

bringsin the
erotic historyof

the

the

case

there

of Swann

all these
this multi-

is

and

sort

of

that

of

the

perversionsof Charlus
and Albertine.
So that perhaps the key to the composition
in an
is to be found
elaborate
contrapuntal development
of themes; and this way of regardingit would
enable
to

us

and

is

of

associate

the

novelists

of

Dos

But

as

art
our

of Proust
time

as

with

the work

of such

verse
di-

Huxley, Gide, Wassermann,

Passes.
at

least in exterior

semblance,

the

work

of Proust

edges
rambling autobiographicalchronicle, which acknowland
no
obligationto the "economies"
adjustments
fiction. He has time for anything he wishes to include;

NOVEL

TWENTIETH-CENTURY

THE

50

likes is dissertating
thing which he particularly
it is psychology in the strict
psychology.Sometimes
upon
fourof the word. There
sense
is,for example,a delightful
of hearing. It begins with
the sense
a
excursus
on
page
of the sounds made
description
by a grate fire heard through
door. Not knowing what
a closed
they were, the character
and

one

did

concerned

Something
that there

burning.

that

roll over,

the

room

but

vacant

not

was

being

was

there. In

one

couldn't

It

fire.

it was
simply the fire
reality
keep quiet, it kept moving the sticks

some

and

around,
stick

the impressionthat

was

with

about, something else

being moved

was

let fall;I had

associate them

not

clumsily.I

most

and

another

in:

went

And

smoke.

one

the

fire let

one

it

when

even

like ill-bred people, it kept


keep making movements
the flame,
that I saw
emittingsounds which, from the moment
appeared to me indeed the sounds made by a fire,but which,

didn't

if I had

been
to

side of the wall, I should

the other

on

some

his

blowing

one

nose

walking

or

have

tributed
at-

and

back

forth.

He

I heard

be

the

far from

seemed

to

off.

heard

Suddenly

the

At least I

hear

there, I

Beginning

saw

so,

that

heard

thought I

discussion

the

on

it in that

the
if

as

right,
long

which

it did

I
not

place;I reallydidn't

have

passes

faint

it

watch;

the table. Then

place,from

it there; for sounds

the

grow

the watch

one

see

couldn't

kept coming

in front, from

it would

I discovered
in

which

tick-tock

I couldn't

from

me,

sometimes

tick-tock

budge.
it

sitting.This

was

behind

from

come

him.

around

Saint-Loup'swatch,

directions, since

the left;and

from
way

where

looks

of

tick-tock

different

from

and

sits down

now

no

to

location.

the

sensations

of

sick person
temporarilydeafened, to the psychology of
arrives at the sound-world
of the deaf, or,
love, and finally

rather, the silent world


stand
Here

to

the deaf in
is

of

placeof

pleasantkind

manifestations
fairy-like

which

sounds.
of

musing,

and

the reader

may

PROUST

PSYCHOLOGY:

enjoy himself a good


lanes, provided he has

deal

wandering

51

long evening before

these

down

him

and

flowery
is not

here

that what we have


the story. Observe
the other
is on
is the psychologyof sensations, which

side

of

in haste

to

get

with

on

from

Pater

Meredith

and

Fielding.Pater

deals

stands
which
mostly in the analysisof esthetic impressions,
side
the analysis
the one
of sensations on
midway between
and, on the other side, that of the sentiments, including
with esthetic
the moral sentiments.
Proust deals extensively
he has a good deal to say
impressionstoo. And, moreover,
of the psychology of the snob, of the motives
that govern
people in the game of "society."
of all in Proust, no doubt, is the analysis
But commonest
of the sentiments, particularly
involved
the sentiments
in
love. Here
elsewhere
he indulges his penchant for referring
as
the particular
the general law. Love, he
to
case
tires of tellingus, is a creation of the imagination,
never
and often has little to do with the qualities
actuallypresent
in the beloved
object.The love of his hero for Madame
in point.It is a by-productof the
de Guermantes
is a case
glamour taken on in his childish imagination by the name
Thus
Guermantes.
to the general subjectof the
we
come
prestigeof names.
At

the age when


unknowable
which

we

to

they also denote


identifythe one

start

but

out

to

which

it is

not

world

find in
we

no

have
for

that

us

with

presentingus the image of the


time
poured into them, at the same
actual place,force us by that fact
an
in

Names,

the

certain

other

citythe

to

such

extent

an

soul which

it cannot

that

we

possess

the power to expel from its name,


and to rivers that they give an
viduality,
indi-

longer have

simply to towns
as allegorical
paintingsdo, it is not simply the physical
which
they tint with various color and people with

marvels,

it is likewise

h6tel

chateau

or

genii,and

depthsof

the
her

has

waters

name,

the social world:


its

lady,or

its

their divinities.
the

so

then

fairy,as

every famous
the forests their

Sometimes, hidden

faisytransforms

in the

herself in accordance

TWENTIETH-CENTURY

THE

52

with

nourishes

imaginationwhich

our

atmosphere in which
after having been for
lantern

slide and

NOVEL

de

Mme.

her; it is

that

so

existed

Guermantes

in

the
me,

years nothing but the reflection of a magic


church window,
began to lose its colors,

to
altogetherdifferent dreams came
impregnate it with
the misty dampness of torrents.
However, the fairydies out if we approach the real person
to whom
her name
then begins to
corresponds,for the name
reflect this person and she contains nothing of the fairy;the
fairymay be born again if we go to a distance from the real person;
but if we stay near
for all and with
her the fairydies once
her the name,
had
to
with that family of Lusignan which
as
end
the day when
to an
come
the fairyMelusine
on
peared.
disap-

when

And
which
a

the

so

might

we

stranger whom

photographic
whether

sound

we

those
and

the

name

from

let

card
not

or
a

another

cause

our

memory
which
it then

the dreams

for
successively

is but
of

ought

we

from

than

more

ncr

which

to

sensation

specialtimbre
seeminglyunchanged, we

This

is

of
portrait

refer

we

the

to

see

a perrecognize,
son

to

time-

former

some

which
recordingmusical instruments
keep the
styleof different artists who have playedon them

the

one

all,the fine

known,

never

identification

"let this sensation


with

have

is goingby.But

with

as

successive retintingsof

the

by finding,below

know, whether

we

who

end

under

Name,

names

to

make

held for

feel the distance

which

hear

us

our

ear,

which

its identical

this

name

and

this

separates

syllables
nified
sig-

us.

beginning of the dissertation on the psychology


and the degreesby which, with personal

of Guermantes
the name
acquaintance,
graduallylost its
in question.
It is of
originalcoloringfor the young man
course
impossibleto do justicein my translation to the
is more
which
like that of Pater
rare
qualityof the original,
than of any other English writer. Only the nicest adjustment
of the

two

sentences

down

idioms
from

volved
inwill prevent these interminable
ing
seeming ridiculous or from break-

in spiteof
altogether,

the

supplenessand

sure-

PSYCHOLOGY:

of balance

ness
so

PROUST

53

which, in the original,


keep them

floating

securely.
It will be

obvious

than

Meredith

is no

effort

that Proust

into the realm

goes

afield

farther

much

of

flection,
regeneral psychological
and the questionwill be asked: why are we
ritated
irnot
with Proust as we
with Meredith?
are
Why do we
find it in his case
not
a well-nighfatal fault in method?
And
the answer
is,I think, mainly this. In Proust there

to

construct

dramatic

story. There

are

no

ments
mo-

of

rapid action, in which the issues are urgent; no


of feeling
tightnessof suspense to be relaxed, nor tenseness
There
to be interrupted.
is,compared with Meredith,
immediate
of the
no
dramatizing of the consciousness
with which
the author
interfere by his philoactors
sophical
may
indiscretions. Proust's work is franklyreminiscent,
and reflective. The
leisurely,
general reflections are of its
If they bore us, we
ing.
not
are
essence.
obliged to go on readdo go on
But if we
reading,it is because this is what
we
expect and what, in this work, we are seeking.This time
hearts on something in the vein of Hazlitt
have set our
we
It is
Pater, or something in the vein of Saint-Simon.
or
because
Meredith
is givingus something so much
precisely
like fiction that we
more
object to the intrusions of the
philosopher.
besides, there

And
tone.

that

Not

Proust's

Meredith's; that would


above

the

is

so

the sensitive

more

to

certain

in

ling
put the disillusioned world-

liable

to

But

the

faults of

manist
hopeful hu-

and

than

manner

it happens in this

scientific determinist

serious

difference

absolutelypreferableto

"humanist."

worldling.And

"

world-wide

is

tone

seem

hopeful

much

worldling the
a

is such

that the

case

hedonist

"

tains
main-

gravityof approach to his human


forced
favorablywith the frequently

subjectwhich contrasts
the jocularityand
facetiousness, of the romantic
note,
moralist. Meredith
is a magnificent
example of the vicious-

of

ness

the

the

romantic
of

want

disposition

virtue

of

art

their

objectivity.
Saxon

and

in

over

the

bias

in

faith

in

the

conditions
alone.

their

things

of

power

have

might

them,

if

been

to

this

resent

and

their

that

moral

fatalism,
in
must

be

tone.

But

lose

the

truth

readers

make

nor

world

there
drama

the
more

gain

is also
in

danger

that

which

over

the
of

of

psychologizing
acceptable

than

the

and
the
a

board.

Marcel

that

of

with

bad

very
That
Proust

their

are

ferent
indif-

And

there
moral

stronger

esthetically.

doctrine,

by

this

in

bracing

control.

no

in

loss

edifying.

us

and

good

involved

great

be

truth

the

more

are

have

we

going

to

acters
char-

the

even

discourage

not

feel

us

esthetic

some

do

they

both

douhj;

to

authors

English

inclined

are

of

behalf

anxious

so

ing
pointdifferent

how
We

on

on

begin

we

showmen

these

tone;

is in

why

of

nature

is true

It

and

ourselves;

human

to

attitude

know-it-all

them

them,

them
etc.

leave

cheering

telling
.

behavior

cannot

warning

only

strongly

so

direct

they

forever

are

and

mistakes,

that

by

scientific

hold
to

vantage
ad-

period
and

will

the

the

certain

Victorian

the

life

of

They

general

Meredith

and

"

parade.

on

determinism

of

Eliot

in
of

life, admonishing

good

out

have

favor

the

and

costume

English

like

characters

the

in

extremes

to

expressiveness,

for

passion

fiction

of

Writers

control

their

the

forever

writers
for

the

be

pushed

manner

prose

simplicity,
to

French

NOVEL

TWENTIETH-CENTURY

THE

54

Meredith.

We

so

often
of

illusion
is

one

is for

son
rea-

some

VI

PHILOSOPHY:

leave

to

but

their

have

their

work

time,

H.

G.

and

such

and

Wells.

much

the

mind,

from
in

its

from

the

often

to

be

not

the

derived
of

not

taken

as

having

in

ularly
particand

Goethe

ferentiated
dif-

well

not

literary

likely

to

be

attach

they

form

extraordinary
a

very

better

they

55

may

abroad

be

Eliot,
than

novelists

are

that

these
and
in

the

very

than

it

but

importance,

talents

high place

known

and

it is evident

speaking,

them

wisdom

reflective

most

Hugo

to

came

political lesson

the

Generally

it

Dickens

story-tellers. But

economic,

occupy

as

philosophic

These

that

often

of

like

writers

Richardson,

weight

writers.

it.

novel

the

and

literary critics, although


are

and

related

was

were

only

moment

greater

story

from
their

do

able

social, the

the

Scott

serious

the

to

mind,

and

of

extremely

spite
of

have

it bear

those

even

for

who

hands

made

and

is

consider

us

Wells,

and

class

constituted

nor

Johnson

right.

own

Let

philosophy

so
a

and

abstract

witness

novel

the

in

Dr.

century

"

Hugo

is worth

It

novels

origins,

its

if, in

as

"

in

eighteenth

the

philosophic

in

are

obviously

of

Rolland
like

studies

vehicle

Victor

Remain

novel.

nature,

obvious

novelists

the

to

as

human

was

are

include

that

however,

Rousseau

time

they belong

of

satisfied

not

were

the

Such

philosophic

allegory

rich

it

life.

our

not

whose
that

to

in

do

Voltaire,

unrealistic

of

who

picture

make

to

philosophy

general

his

dramatic

impelled

felt

novelists

been

always

have

HERE

HUGO

VICTOR

which

is

novelists,

qualities

to

in
of

estimation

widely
more

read

highly

MISERABLES"

"LES

57
the

Jean Valjean is pursued through


has to take refugein a convent.
The
out

to

be

whom

man

helps him

and

It is

now

to

his escape.
the
to introduce

necessary

who

man
young
the heroine, Cosette.

the

Cosette.

which

plot

gardener turns
in earlier days,

convent

befriended

has

and

make

estimable

of

he

of Paris

streets

But
lead

Jean Valjean

is destined

jeune premier, the


in the

follow

I cannot

end

the

marriage of
bear to give up

the

to

cannot

to

marry
turns

many
Marius

and

Cosette

to

heart. And
her young
lover, and he dies of a broken
yet he
that he has expiated his crime, and
dies happy, realizing

image of the Savior.


In this outline
I have
enormously simplifiedthe story
all mention
and
of some
of the major incidents
omitted
and
characters. This
is,as everybody knows, a formidable
five parts, 48 books, 321 chapters,in my
book. There
are
he

is

recognizedby

Marius

as

the very

be said
first it must
pages. And
that, so far as story goes, it is very well done. In a narrative
characters
from
the most
drawn
diverse
involving many

edition

than

more

2,000

milieux, the author

follows

the

excellent

of characters
group
another
which
is
group
one

linked

with

them.

It is

method

tablishing
es-

troducin
solidlybefore ineventually to be closely

very

well-ordered

story, free from

and changes of
fussylittle interruptions

innumerable

of

the

center

of Balzac's story-telling.
Hugo has many
spoilso much
of doing it. Such is the excelin the manner
lent
high qualities
with which, at one
objectivity
point and another, he
in action, especially
shows
character
us
a
Jean Valjean.In
matic
general the story is notable for its bold modeling, its draintensity.I know
nothing in the whole
range
that

of fiction which
the reader

in

goes

faster where

it does

holds
go, which
Is there anything

tightergrip of suspense.
more
excitingthan Jean Valjean'sflight
through Paris that
ends with his scalingthe convent
in
wall, or his adventure
the underground labyrinthof sewers?
that this fine story-telling
is the good side of
It is true
a

NOVEL

TWENTIETH-CENTURY

THE

58

for one
thing,
possible,
only the most exciting
by the author's election to narrate
The
of the history,
moments
to "hit" only the "high spots."
of ordinarylifeare neglectedaltogetheror treated
moments
in hasty survey. There
of the patientfollowingof
is none
lives
small incidents such as make
up the stapleof most
realists excel in.
and such as Thackeray and
the French
a

vicious

In

method, since it is made

other

words, this is,on


story. It is

long

one

pudent
happenings,of imthtdtre,which, taken all together,

clever
to

side of action,

well-nighincredible

and

amount

venture
pure adtissue of coincidences, of extraordinar

the

coups de
simple melodrama.

pends
de-

the author

Everywhere

surpriseand on the "noble gesture."


after his conversion, as noble
Jean Valjeanis invariably,
in soul and action as he is physically
strong and quick of
wit. He is alwaystaking the high line of magnanimity,and
without
than once
the least regard for his own
More
safety.
he gets himself
into new
and
frightfuldifficulties by his
indiscreet generosity,
his role of "the beggar who
gives."
Perhaps the most grandioseof all his gestures is that at the
of the Thenardiers
when
tenement
bush
they have laid an amfor effect

for him

flaming hot
but

on

and
iron.

are

with

foot, and

one

to

have

They

he has succeeded
all but

about

put

bound

end

an

him

to

with

him

hand

and

foot,

self
sharpenedcoin in freeinghimthen by a trick he gets possession
a

of the red-hot iron. So then he has them


he

has

the

hands.
his

But

his

of escape from
instead of using it againstthem,

means

escape,

burns

in his power,
and
their ruthless and cruel

he

own

it

turns

flesh.This

them, since he has power

anything that
With

the

senses

he

great and
in the

does

not

on

is

to

over

wish

himself

show
his
to

make

and

that he
own

to

even

deliberately
will not betray

will and

never

tells

tell.

high natures, the rebellion


pinch of pain merely serves

of the
to

flesh and

bring out

the

STORY-TELLING

HUGO'S
soul and

make

it show

59

their foreheads,

upon

justas

captainto show his mettle.


cries Jean Valjean,"fear not me

nies
the muti-

of soldiers force the


"Wretched

you."
tearingthe

And

iron from

window.

the

open
whirling in

the

When
be

and

well

and

implement disappeared
ground far away, and was

few
closely,

scenes

found

are

the

side of suspense
and
drama,
element
is not
stronglypresent

on

theatrical

imaginatively.
Compared

of the

work

chromo,

to

realize the situations

to

the

with

not

save

the

it is hard

the

examined

done

where

horrible

hold the reader for the moment,


may
bear the weight of thoughtfulconsideration.

scenes

they will

but

out

snow.

bombastic

Such

flesh,he flungit

his wounded

The

night,fell

the

extinguishedin

to

more

any

I fear

than

of

ones!"

reallyserious artists,this is simply


be said to have altogether
story Hugo may

in his

whether
of the
neglectedwhat the novelist proper
of Tolstoy and
rank
Flaubert, or that of George Moore
of his craft.
or
George Gissing regardsas of the essence
"

"

that

should

one

Hugo;

is

the
took

so

out

much

so

indeed

entire

and

time

to

which
in the

work

up

book

this

solelyto

to

the

battle of

the

Victor

private

social

ment,
com-

good story-teller
a
background of

no

social interest. Whole

devoted

story proper

of
significance

political
historywith
richlyinterlarded, it is

philosophy.And

one

to

in the

not

for the serious

look

general historical
chapterslong, are
to

said, it is

it is in the

chronicle

ever

be

then, it may

But

books, many

background

terial:
ma-

Waterloo, another

sociological
study of the Paris street urchin, another
the historyand description
of the sewers
of Paris. Two
a

books

nadines

are

devoted
and

to

the

of

convent

of the

generaltheoryof

convent

life. There

to

an

account

Ber-

NOVEL

TWENTIETH-CENTURY

THE

6o

cussion,
nothing but generaldisthere
and during which
the story simply waits. And
scattered through the novel many
more
are
chapterswholly
devoted
to speak
not
to general background and
theorizing,
entire books

are

of the
which

incidental
the author

there

in which

is

of the action in
passages in the course
about
instructs the reader what
to think

it all.
served
background material, it is brilliantly
in review
to give the book
up, and tends, in the long run,
and grandeur. But in so far
of monumental
a sort
solidity
it is a substitute for the serious close-uppresentationof
as
As

for the

human

nature

serves

simply

"

to

the

ordinary

deceive

that the book

is

both
on

business
author

higher

of
and

good

fiction

reader

into posing
suplevel than

intellectual

"

it

it is not
at all on
nature
reallyis. As a study of human
historical and philosophiThe
a high level intellectually.
cal
for the most
are
digressions
part a turning aside from
the particularcase
at
issue, an evasion of the problem of
fiction. And
while they are interesting
enough in their own
right,and full of information, they are, after all,only a kind
of high-class
journalism.
The
journalism,
styleof Hugo is the styleof high-class
or
more
exactlythat of the clever parliamentarianof the
romantic
period.It is self-conscious and complacent. It is
sentimentallyeffusive where the occasion calls for pathos.
in the manner
of Dickens
It is given to rhetorical repetition
and
of De
rhetorical question in the manner
Quincey. It
is witty,
antithetical,bombastic, pathetic,
figurative,
oquent,
grandiland makes
an
English reader think of Macaulay
and
Carlyle and De Quincey and Frank Crane and Fra
Elbertus
all rolled into one.
And
it is that kind of style
which
has the effect,very often, of divertingattention from
the characters, the subject,on
the author
himself.
to
One
trick will serve
In
to illustrate the generalquality.
his concern
for dramatic
effect, Hugo indulges freelyin
the penchant for making his paragraphs very short, like

it

STYLE

HUGO'S

the successive
that each

of

utterances

effect shall sink

61

who

actor

an

the

paragraphs are equivalentto


actor
gives the impression of an

for

continuous

sure

of the

the

too

cessive
suc-

which

by

pauses
emotion

mannerism

This

be

to

indentations

in. The

utterance.

wants

strong
been

has

for spicingup the


by cheap publicists
editorial page of their yellow journals.
It is often used by
Hugo at excitingpoints of the narrative to increase the
of effect. Or it is used in passages of philosophical
theatricality
often in combination
with rhetorical quesspeculation,
tions.
The followingis taken from a brilliant and bombastic
of Napoleon's defeat at Waterloo.
discussion of the causes

adopted

in America

fatalities

Still other
Is it

possiblefor Napoleon

And

no.

No.

On

of

It

The
the

time

was

balance
.

Napoleon
decided

was

He

was

ago

for this

excessive
.

this

century. Another

long

this

battle?
On

Wellington?

Waterloo,

at

had

Napoleon

had

events

arise.

vast

of

was

preparing,
evil will

itself.
to

man

this

of facts

series

the law

within

not

was

fall.

omit

destinydisturbed

in human

man

several

of this paragraph.]

sentences

been

answer,

account

longer any place.The

no

announced

weight of
[Here I

had

We

of God.

account

nineteenth

in which

to

win

to

of

account

victor

Bonaparte
the

On

why?

Bliicher?

of

destined

were

denounced

in the

infinite,and

his fall

on.

in God's

Waterloo

is

not

[//genaitDieu.]

way.
a

battle; it is the change of direction

of the

universe.

So

then

we

have, in "Les Miserables,"

excitingstory, and on the other a


history,sociology,
psychology,etc.

imply
his
was

that there

was

constructed

with

that

But

it is clear

philosophy.Whereas
a

view

to

side

one

series of dissertations

relation between

no

the

on

would

proving

the
a

whole
thesis.

on

to

seem

Hugo's story

that

an

and

story

Hugo

tells

what
explicitly

most

us

NOVEL

TWENTIETH-CENTURA

THE

62

his thesis in "Les

was

Mis6-

rables":
The
is

nothing, from

end

one

under

his eyes at this moment,


and
in the
the other, in the whole
has

the reader

which

book

to

the
be the interruptions,
may
forward
from evil to
the march

details, whatever
the failures,but

exceptionsand
good, from the

unjustto the just,the false to the true, from night to day, from
to the
appetiteto conscience, from decay to life,from bestiality
hell to heaven, from
of duty, from
sense
nothingnessto God.
Point
Goal:
A hydra at the bethe spirit.
of departure:matter.
ginning,

This

the end.

angel at

an

evolution

from

evil

good, social,moral, religious,


in operation,according to his design, not
is to be seen
the bishop, the convict,
merely in the individual characters
the street
urchin, the political
revolutionary but
in the whole
and
likewise
What
the
state
body politic.
"socialists" of Hugo's time were
seeking,he says, is "the
of oppression
the end
of the sword, work
for
end
to

"

"

man,

for the child, social

instruction

for

bread
liberty,equality,fraternity,
the

Edenizing of

This

the world

social progress

it

republic to bring about;


and

virtuous

Revolution
the devotion
But

had

and
of

Hugo

and

woman,

all, ideas

for

the

was

mission
political
the oppositionof

hence

Marius

been

for

all,

in short, Progress."

"

his frivolous

to

republic had

grandfather.The

sweetness

been

defended
of Marius

had

of the
the

publican
re-

monarchist
in

ushered

by

by Napoleon.

the

Hence

the first emperor.


of his trust; he had

to

proved unworthy
substituted
die empire for the republic.Hence
the statement
of Hugo that Napoleon was
"in God's
way," and
the conversion
of Marius
ing
festerThe
to pure republicanism.
submerged tenth was the result of social conditions for
the monarchy was
which
partlyresponsible.Hugo points
out

Napoleon

that

the

abandonment

by the

old

of little children

monarchy.

was

bit of Bohemia

not

couraged
dis-

in the

PHILOSOPHY

SOCIAL

classes

lower

was

not

slaves
who

were

were

steals

him

turn
a

into

of

soul

is

if you

one

be

can

it is very

But

like

him

treat

which

goodness

criminal.

Every

one.

drawn

Christian
of the

and

of

that human

is the

to

be

realize

And

humanitarian.

humanitarian-

and

that

with

matter

him

philosophy,but
simple vehicle for
is considered

nature

figure of

romantic

to

is

merely

not

that

he

has

this

philosophy,

exclusivelyas

structed
con-

means

good bishop is in

proving a theory.The

ideal

the ideals

Hugo's humanina'ive.
sentimental, exaggerated, and

sentimental

his fable

is the

This

with

harmony

romanticism

on

Babbitt

artist,what

an

he has

that

down

so

is rather

tarianism
as

be

is

Hugo

Professor

as

But

in

most

is

"

that

not

may

ism

the way

Revolution.

It is clear
one

and

way,

has

man

that he

rightway is to trust him, to assume


make
your appeal to his better nature.

to

to

easy

is treated

if he

out

right.The
good,

higher

were

of bread

crust

in the

those

to

ularly
againsteducating the people. Particthere need of galley-slaves
to maintain
a fleet of
subjectto the capricesof the wind. And galleylike Jean Valjean,
recruited in part from men
who
criminals at all. Not every starvingman
not

spheres.They
boats

accommodation

an

was

63

Christian

virtue.

Long

every respect an
before one
has finished

chapterswhich make up the first book,


of the
to
account
an
are
entirely given over
of Monseigneur Bienvenu, one
realizes that one

the fourteen
and

which

character
has

to

do

human

Each

here

not

nature

with

the

as

of the characters

though
Fairbanks

he

adds

creation

to

that

author
is

art

whose

knows

type and

some

those

aim
it from

is

to

present

experience.

little more:

Jean

jean,
Val-

of the

qualitiesof a Douglas
already exemplified by the

turned
bishop; Famine, the loving, loyal woman,
by unjust social conditions; Javert,the
prostitute
tion of human
in its blind official phase;the
justice

Th"iar

diers, incarnation

tion
incarna-

ol the

of le rnauvais

political
spiritof

the

pauvre; Marius,

republic,etc.

into

incarna

VII

PHILOSOPHY:

I
F

VICTOR

afforded

and

by
of

decline

since

the

view

Hugo

is

These

two

relation

to

times.

men

the

the

different

of

dress

background,

and

Fraternit"J.

And

brand

of

own

moral
and

and
the

into

them

Wells

religiosity, he

men

are

disillusioned

into

merely

of

has

had,

makes

in

bridge

the
wears

have

very

much

into

fallen

the

Libert"-Egalit"-

certain

nothing

Hugo's

age

comparison,

he
that

So

terms.

more

Wells

radicals, and

comparison

into

brand

spirit exemplified

though

progress,

rhetorical

brought
not

while

respective

their

industry

the

in

position

philosophy
has

Wells.

G.

under

politics

Wells,

especially

in

run

and

Science

that

of

all

at

by

his

phases,

that

Valjean

Jean

bishop.

good

political
such

in

Christian

both

But

his.

Wells's

critical

H.

similar

has

sure,

to

than

thought

the

abatement

contemporary

novelist

of

and

Hugo,

prominence

greater

be

the

of

that

expect

obvious

somewhat

trend

to

from

of

the

something

similar

be

must

greater

occupy

water,

time

it

interest

general

Much

since

the
much

suffer

will
For

not

if

And

suffered

we

is

example

Wells.

G.

has

may

reconciling

of

striking

more

H.

day,

time?

of

WELLS

difficulty

novelist

Wells

by

Hugo

the

still

own

Mr.

unbiased

Victor

as

his

lapse

G.

contemporary

of

reputation
with

fiction,

our

reputation
a

illustrates

HUGO

philosophy

H.

as

fervid
may
it is

not
not

novelists.
it

is clear

interesting reading
65

continues
faith

in

unabated

express
unnatural
And

that
in

once

Victor
his

and

human

himself
to

in

bring

they
Hugo

are

is

speculative

that he is

phase,but
is

obvious

most

Wells's

BritlingSees

if with

which

novels

"

an

This
better story-teller.
infinitely
Hugo's we compare novels of Mr.

period like "The


It Through," and

later

Clissold"

NOVEL

TWENTIETH-CENTURA

THE

66

life with

contemporary

Machiavelli," "Mr.

New

combine

of William

World

"The

of
realisticpresentation

interlardingsof

extensive

social

philosophy.
brief

of

review

(1926) will

clear what

make

of

World

"The

This

mean.

Clissold"

William
book

purports

historyof a British industrialist livingin


in a Provencal farm-house,
retirement
together with a
sketch of the new
he visions as coming
world-order
which
to

be

into

the

life

being.Each

the facts about


But

in each

the
up

William

book

from

slipsover

of the six books

one

Clissold

the individual

abstract

to

case

"with his

of each

has been
Clissold,at the age of fifty-nine,

happy

devoted

and

discussion

of the

occupiesmore
in this book.

"Dickon"
touches
recounts

as

scientist. And

relations

than
The
an

on
briefly

nine

third book

reviews

the married

their activities

sections

an

life of the

two

during

the

real

into

a
a

comprised

the life of his brother


with

advertisingman

him

with

which
religion,

and

of the sixteen

is taken

dining

this leads

of science

of

William

in the firstbook

Thus
theorizing.

design,

consideration

the bulk

and

Richard.

his brother

the author, in accordance

general social conditions;


with

and

of

certain

recounts

World

imagination,
brothers, and
War.

But

the

as
subjectof the book is Dickon's ideas on advertising
of publicity,
the war, the reconstruction
a means
on
period,
and the period of debt-collectingrunning over
liam's
into Wilideas on
the same
The
contains
fifth book
subjects.
but is entirely
no
privatehistory,
occupiedwith an account
of the new
order which
is coming into being under
the
ods
auspicesof science and industry,and of educational methcalculated to produce an "adult mentality"in citizens
of the new
order. The sixth book is virtually
all devoted to
"

"

"THE

discussion

toward

sex

WORLD

the

indicate

Hugo's. In

of

the

matter

difference

CLISSOLD"

WILLIAM

of types of love and


and marriage.

review

This

OF

rightattitude

the

"William

of

between

67

Wells's

to

take

Clissold"

will

method

and

the firstplacethere is much

less story in proportion


there is of it is almost entirely

and what
philosophy,
issues
wanting in that direction upon
specialdramatic
which
makes
which
a
gives it suspense
story enthralling,
and
and
coherence
is perhaps
growing interest. There
about the same
proportionof story to general speculation
to

in

as

"Sartor

Resartus," and

the

story elements

are

persed
dis-

widely through the mass of specuperhaps stillmore


lation
than in the historyof Teufelsdrockh.
In the second
Clissold" is much
more
place,the theorizingin "William
rambling and abstract, than in "Les
spread out, more
of historical
Miserables," where it has such a largestiffening
the scholarlydocumentation
fact and
gives a solid
foothold for the mind
in the bogs of speculation.
And
feels even
then, finally,
one
more
acutelyin Wells
than in Hugo the forced association of fiction and philosophy,
and
to

weave

material

all the

perhaps,because of Wells's effort


the two
together.So much of Hugo's background
is relegatedto specialbooks
entirelygiven over

it,while

to

to, and
return

so,

the story waits. You

read

these books

if you

care

fiction. Then
as
as
fascinating
you find them
you
this reinforcement
of background
to the story, with

material, and
interest. The
you have
been diluted
and

Of

more

"William

has been

swiftlythrough a plotof absorbing


story, in its place,is given the fullest swing,
such feelingas in Wells that the story has
no
by the philosophy.
you

move

Clissold"

diluted. There

is

reallyno

on

its own

one

it is
is

not

episodewhich

account

to

too

say that the story


of it for that. There
to

enough
is sufficiently
well developed

constitute

of in the briefest
is disposed

much

part of

story. The

possiblespace

so

as

to

story
make

68

THE

TWENTIETH-CENTURY

NOVEL

for the abstract

room

discussions; it appears

be

to

duced
intro-

in

perfunctoryfashion merely to give a plausible


for the general topics,
and so that the book
starting-point
be what the author
it to be in the preface,"a
asserts
may
complete full-dress novel, that and nothing more."
As a matter
of fact,it is a good deal more
than a full-dress
novel
and a good deal less. For, whatever
else a full-dress
novel may
do, it does not entirelyneglect to present the
individual
which
acter
case, the privatehistory,
givesit its char"

as

the

novel. The

in

feature

of its

concreteness

Wells,

distinctive

most

pictureof life,and
period,is to give his

his later

of

those

days. It is

vacuous

conceal.

lot of

quite a

is

tendency of
story in sketchy

generalterms and not in the concrete.


of thing,for example, is what in the long run
reading of so many of Wells's later novels:
I did

novel

the

outline, in

I suppose

This
makes

sort

dull

promiscuous love-making in

nothing

to

boast

of

and

nothing

to

I could
love very
long time I found no one
who
much, and I began to preferwomen
plainlydid not care
for me
who
brought a personal passion,
very greatlyto women
of
the
into
the
I was
or
one,
ready enough to
pretence
game.
admit
and
they were
charming
delightfulcreatures, but not
that they were
and
that I was
personally indispensable,
mented
torand
monstrous
fidelities
by yearnings, uncertainties

their

For

on

account.

love which

I had

began

manifestlyungenerous
affairs in which

feel

tolerance

for meretricious

thought revolting.But

once

absolutelymeretricious
love

to

love.

If I had

I should
I did

not

have

been

failed in

fail,so much

of

rarelycame
poor
some

man

of

paying was

to

and

these
there

in it,but that is not


Such
down

was

the

quitethe same
thingas meretriciousness.
qualityof my life in the middle forties. Cut

in this fashion

aimless. But

that is

to
not

its
to

heart, it

was

say that there

friendless,loveless and
was

sive,
steady,extenkindly commerce
not

toil,much
interesting
fellowshipand
with
and
aesthetic gratifications,
pleasantmen
women,
fun,
deal
a
of
excitements,
incidental happiness in it. But
great
there was
dissatisfaction waiting for me
in the shadows
arid

NARRATIVE

SUMMARY
the

by. I

being

not

was

Here

have

we

over

Summaries
in

used

blanket

of this kind

in general terms,
description,

novel

any

which

of

are

passing

was

full.

the

to

Life

good enough.

not

was

qualityof a man's life,and


a short period of time, but

of the
or

It

quiet moments.

69

that
over

course

undertakes

not
a

at

one

number

cover

of years.

occasionally

necessary
to

moment,

considerable

length of time and an action of some


complexity.They
perspectiveand save the author from the
help to secure
of narratingin detail parts of the story which
he
necessity
regards as of secondary importance.They may accordingly
subserve
to

be

in

But
such

Wells

case

economies.

takes

but

meager
the saving he has made

For

parts which

are

advantage

ot

in summarizing

liam
love-making of WilClissold is not matched
by any adequate development
affairs which
the serious sentimental
are
reallyimportant
for his theme.
Immediately after the passage quoted
the

of

this

for those

time

they save
economy;
treated at length.

promiscuous and

he goes

on

Helen,

who

citizen

to

meretricious

of Clissold's affair with

account

an

represents the free and


to

so

necessary
of considerable

his

new

the

actress

independent female

social order.

This

relation

is

genious
delicacyand requiringpatientand indevelopment if it is to be convincing.It requires,
if nothing else, a certain extension
and
bulk, so that it
and leave a lasting
impression.But Mr. Wells,
may register
has little patienceleft for the
at this period of his writing,

one

love-stories called
much

for in the scheme

occupied with
the effort of

to

of his novel; he

is

so

equal
important thingsthat he is unimagination necessary to give them

more

reality.
For
are

not

there

form

to

indeterminate

dogmatic

many
is one

enough

as

rules that

such, it is this: if
be

chronicled, it is

that of the

as

can

novel

be laid down.

there
But

if

episode is important
important enough to be
an

NOVEL

TWENTIETH-CENTURA

THE

7o

adequately.This is a principlewell known


Bennett, for example, and it is his observance

chronicled
Arnold
which

so

of it

greater than

much

of Wells.

are
It may
that the best of Mr. Wells's books
turn
out
of his Utopian
his realistic full-dress novels but some

and

romances

Verne.

forecasts in the

mechanical

such

In

stories the

of
may

privatehistoryof

trouble

interest. The

common

Jules
is

individuals

the

histories with

public movements
to do this tying up

difficult

then,

attempt

in

moreover,

in

comes,

his realistic

tie up the privateemotional


and social theories. It is

novels, with

very
And

of

manner

ment
importance; there is no occasion for the developthor
sentimental
episodes;the imagination of the aumatters
over
expatiatewithout let and hindrance

of little

of

Tale"

Wives'

Old

"The

of the novels

any

not

makes

to

to

in

convincing

this association

of

manner.

privatehistory

that are
it is the publicmovements
publicmovements,
ment
danger of dominating the outlook, to the great detri-

with
in

of what

With

writer

like Mr.

substitute

to

which

call fiction.

we

is

the

supposed

he reconciles

once

there

to

Wells, there is a

constant

general social theory

float it. And

himself

he

once

tion
disposi-

for the

story

lets himself

go,

role of story,
has a
in his rambling. He

the subordinate

to

is

nothing to check him


naturallydiscursive mind, and in later years he has grown
the
diffuse and repetitious.
So that, if we
agree to overlook

inadequacyof
in

the

incidental

something
There

left

is
of

readers
what

the

to

no

to

and
story-telling

philosophy of

interest
is still

novels, there

be desired.
doubt

that

Mr.

very high order.


think. He
has been,

William

the

find his main

Clissold

called

Wells
He
in

has

has

been

stimulated

phleteer
pammany

thought,
contemporary
catahimself, "a ferment,
a

PHILOSOPHY:

WELLS

71

tion,
lyticagent, a provocation/'He has brought into circulacial
or
kept in circulation, more
general ideas on the soorder than any English writer since Arnold.
But
he is
brilliant a pamphleteer as Voltaire
Swift or
not
or
so

France,

Anatole
has

Shaw

as

Chesterton

or

Mencken.

or

He

the wit of any of these, nor


their power
of concentration.
of
He often falls into the abstract and arid manner

not

leadingarticles
has

in newspapers
and weekly reviews; and he
of editorial writers, the need
boil
excuse
to

the

not

the argument.
He does not seek with passionle mot
in that
juste.He is capable of writing banal sentences
down

of absent-mindedness

mood

Here

writers.

splendid vista

is

is that

think, in the world!"

that overtakes

all but

the greatest

a
description:"What
gracious and
of the Champs-Elysees,the finest,I

is characterization:

Here

"For

me

she

mystical;she was beautiful and lovely


human
for me
no
as
being has ever been; she had in my
perceptionof her a distinctive personalsplendour that was
and inseparablyher own
line of her neck
as the
as entirely
was

or

and

wonderful

the timbre
the

But

pages

at

outline

of her voice."
is the

worst

stretch

of die

in

long-windedness. One

"William

Clissold"

on

the

hundred
abstract

World

Republic! Carlyle was long-winded


Ruskin.
But
more
too, and
they were
picturesque,to say
the vehicle of
the least; and while they did not
to
resort
loss to give concreteness
at
never
fiction, they were
a
to
Whereas
Mr.
their general discussions.
Wells
often
so
makes
it for intera feint of telling
a story only to abandon
minable
and tepid dissertation.
he came
There
was
a period when
making a
very near
the
really artistic synthesisof theory and fiction. It was
period of those entertainingcharacter sketches, "Kipps"
(1905),"Tono-Bungay" (1908),and "The
History of Mr.
a
Polly" (1910)."Tono-Bungay" in particularcombines
of the ideas of
most
amusing story with many anticipations
"William

Clissold." UnQle

Ponderevo,

the

manufacturer

POLLY"

"MR.

AND

"TONO-BUNGAY"

73

rather
ingredientsnot too well mingled, if it seems
agglomerationof themes looselyheaped togetherthan
adequate development of a chosen theme, there can be

of

doubt,

at

of the

They

Polly"

"Mr.

is

not

main

motive

book

that

in the

which

in

offended
the

Old

"The

by

Baines

incident

is

in

the

item

on

in which

throws

for the story as a whole.


and
unobtrusive
It is quiet and

tickets

nearlyso good
It is

It is

into
as

the

besides, his

important

an

time

ally
structur-

real person

than

even

on

is very important
and dramatic.

same

more

is

who

tense

the

Povey is a much
Polly,or Kipps, or

Mr.

or

the

Povey

window

person

at

shop,

his latest creation

important.Mr.
Parsons,

Mr.

refined; and

of

characterization

of

primarily humorous.

not

in

an

is reminiscent

It

more

is

window

appreciationof

is

it

decoratingthe

episodeis not

humor

Bennett's

There
seriously.

Tale"

and

the Parsons

the fire. But


other.

Wives'

life. But

man's

Parsons, salesman

one

tickets."

the lack of

part of Mrs.

take

he insists

artistic "window

scene

historyof

need

we

discharged because

with

ing
mean-

"Kipps" and "Mr. Polly/1


tives.
they are entertainingnarrathe novelty of making indigestion

introduces

amusing chapterin
is

no

like

of books

true

clearlyfiction,and

are

the

term.

this is

And

that this is fiction in the obvious

rate,

any

an

Uncle

than
Pon-

derevo.
Arnold

For

his
is reallynot
way.
But
not

does

He
he
seem

not

in his

has

has

Bennett
art

good

which

is

fundamental

not

shared

in characterization

knack

by

seriousness

in approachin

Mr.

Wells

except in

Wells.
a

superficial

a
hittingoff types, no doubt of that.
does not
get into the characters. Indeed, he does
to realize the importance of gettinginto them.
He
seem

to

have

of

envisagedthis

as

something

involved

undertaking as a writer of fiction. He takes seriously


his business of entertaining
the reader, but he does not take
the art of characterization,which
is three fourths
seriously
of fiction. He takes his philosophyseriously,
for he is pri-

marily

thinker

of

lured

Now,

of

methods

which

of

ter

But

idealistic

the

books

the

has

in

clear

the

history

form

they
of

rather

in

are

literature,
than

among

of

his

the

romantic
Fors-

Prophecy.
and

philosophical,

are

thought-provoking

and

novels,

place

the

in

Mr.

and

we

pamphlets,

essence

of

which

Fantasy

Wells

Mr.

but

types

of

mary
pri-

nature

realism

those

those

fiction\JJhe

human

entertaining

outward

that

of

of

ends

written

of

merely

headings

the

primary

of

vey
sur-

our

"md

philosophy
of

to

distinguish

to

proper

ends

the

in

But,

are.

of

study

even

under

he

the

not

true

fiction,

includes

while

be

is

call

is

is

it
ends

the

may

fiction

This

concrete.

we

they

carry
free

certainly

are

you

carry;

novel,

the

be

may

novel

the

make

to

whatever

mainly

what

^end

and

in

serve

serve

it

ends,

your

which

legitimate

make

can

serve

is

ceived
con-

philosophy.

his
it

people

which

by

means

has

he

mainly

And

themes.

as

suppose
you

it

those

novel

swallowing

whatever
make

social

on

the

into

NOVEL

TWENTIETH-CENTURA

THE

74

is

novelists.

among

might

well

as

that,

and
the

in

phleteers
pam-

VIII

imply

not

is

It

of

in

style

both

the

novel

the

method

is related

live

they

the

and

Hugo

of

question

which

on

of

say

against

element

philosophical
terms

to

prejudice

reference.

the

had

have

HAT

FRANCE

BARRES,

HORS-D'CEUVRES:

and

narrower

and

story-element

broader

the

the

which

by

It is also

together.

does

philosophical

of

the

to

Wells

Mr.

question

the

of

sense

word.
since

Ever

form,
we

there

has

call

may

works

"South

of

in

the

in

fiction,

and

of

often

not

of

extremely

thought

as

Consider,
Barr"s.

is

than

novels.

the

for
The

candidate

question

The

fiction

example,
very
for

class

Maurice
all

works

disparagement

no

And

themselves.

by

imply

to

may

duller

of

that

contain

they
more

contemporaries

is how

of

far

it may

be

in
garded
re-

proper.

Jardin

"Le

simple

in

Anatole

of

delicious

They

often

logues
dia-

Life

of

treatises

meant

not

meaty.

their

of

meat

Here

witty

Private

works

certainly

into

them

putting

the

most

"

counterparts
"The

and

scholastic
the

the

what

novels

development.

modern

belong

among

"hors-d'oeuvres"

term

regular-line

by

here

exquisite

are

form

is involved

meat

and

Troy";
the

their

of

of

form

Shandy";

Yellow,"

"Crome

the
of

stream

distinct

highly

succession

in

"Tristram

with

as

constant

main

the
and

These

Barr"s.

almost

hors-d'oeuvres

Peacock,

and

France,

constituted

was
an

outside

Wind,"

Helen

are

been

"Candide"
of

the

novel

literary

lying

belong

cast

the

story

membership
75

de

concerns

in

the

B"r"nice"
a

Chamber

(1891)

certain
of

lippe,
Phi-

Depu-

ties from

Midi,

Aries, and

B"r"nice,

symbolizesfor

who

NOVEL

TWENTIETH-CENTURY

THE

76

which

he

him

dreamy daughter

of

fascinatingand

the

loves, as well

the

ward
back-

various

unpractical
of spirit.
and antique qualities
tain
Being distressed by cerfeatures of her erotic life,he persuades her to marry
excellent philistine.
But this proves a mistake. B"r"nice
an
the conclusion
that he has
to
dies, and Philippe comes
in reference
to
misinterpretedthe will of the Unconscious
country

as

her.

October

one

warm

She

talks with

his

of her spirit
the appearance
to him
night in her garden at Aigues-Mortes.

with

ends

book

The

him

at

length,and
for having

some

thinking,pardoning him
in wishing to substitute

his notion

sets

him

right in

been

"a

trifle vulgar

of

for

correctness

the urge of nature."


her of -their evenings toHe reminds
gether
of old time in the garden. And
"I was
she replies:
Petiteeverywhere. Recognize in me
each least parcelof the
Secousse, the little push by which
makes
manifest
the secret
universe
scious.
impulse of the Uncon-

there; but

am

Where
the
urge

wretched
that

depths.
you

must

am

from

aimed

having

In order
...

fail

not

sometimes

ones:

to

Think

is death.

not,

there
too

alone, Petite-Secousse, who

animate

is in

well,
them

too,

such

of
an

high they fall into the


need of spiritual
unity,

satisfy
your
keep in touch

to

with

me,

with

me

all these
indifferently
or
rightaccording to

moving forms, deemed


by us wrong
our
short-sighted
judgments."
with a longer outline, to make
I could
not
hope, even
the reader understand
the complicatedand elusive thought
of this book, let alone the peculiarcharm
of the thing.It
has more
than a suggestionof Sterne's "Sentimental
ney,"
Jourbut is much
individual
be
in
to
too
caught
any
of descriptionor
is to
I want
net
comparison. What
make
clear the extremely abstract nature
of the story and
the franklysymbolic function
of B"r"nice. This author has
no

intention

of

givinga presentationof

manners

in

de-

BARRES

MAURICE

tail,a la Thackeray

Daudet,

or

77

nor

detailed

of

account

offeringus bits of dialogue


which
Philippe says
reproduce the way people talk. What
is not credible as actual speech but merely as
to Berenice
mental

nor

processes,

of

even

her. The
book
is
of his attitude toward
representation
really,under a slightfictional form, the expositionof a
the
philosophyof life,an attitude of mind, in somewhat
symbolicalfashion of the "Vita Nuova."
So far from
wishing to disguisethe abstract character
does his best to bring it to the fore.
of the book, Barres
a

of sections

of the heads

Many

entitled

"Berenice's

sections

bearing the

is one
tendency.There
chapter
and
this
subdivided
is
into
Pedagogy,"
nice's
captions"Berenice's Method," "Bere-

Pleasures," "Berenice's
the duties

and
le
to

the scholastic

make

an

procedure." He

insists

this scholastic

on

of letters who
the coquetry of a man
is bored
of his day. So that if "The
the silly
World
story-telling

of William
the mask
under

to

give in arid outline (je


expositionof it according

with

method
with

And

of Berenice, I

order

desseche)in

Duties."

of all this part


teachingof the method, the pleasures

himself, "This

says

which

terms

this dialectical

underline

he

in

conceived

are

Clissold"
of

is

to

novel, "The
of

the mask

thought of

be

Garden

as

treatise under

of Berenice"

is

novel

treatise.

properlyspeaking,a novel, it is at any rate a


solid and rare
imaginativecreation. For all the scholastic
of psycholdissection, for all the spareness of description,
ogy,
If it is not,

and

of "scene"

individual, and

action, Berenice

apart from

exists. She

exists

as

an

the

symbolism, as Beatrice exists


And
in the "Vita Nuova."
Languedoc exists,Aiguesof Joigne,
Mortes
exists,and the dusty provincial
museum
and
its tapestries
with
the whole
painted panels.From
there emanates
work
a subtle and
pungent fragranceof old
it all there is a play of sentimental
over
France, of the Midi. And
nuances

cannot

fail

to

which

you may
seductive.
find

hold

suspect but which

you

has

B"r"nice"

of

Garden

"The

NOVEL

TWENTIETH-CENTURA

THE

78

quality of poetry,

the

Clissold"; and it has the


say of "William
qualityof wit. Above all,comparing it with Wells, we are

which

cannot

we

its

impressed with

"

of wit. In this it is at
it is

his work,

Like

of the novel.

that

brevity

in line with

the

pretensionsto

be

not

It has

no

is the soul

of Anatole

the work

with

one

brevitywhich

France.

regularevolution
ralistic
regarded as natu-

fiction.

And

with

so

Anatole

for the labored


interested
lives of

in

seriouslyis no

build

to

In

ambition

no

them

his choice

not

in their

finish them
he

of characters

entirety,

off.

highly selective

is

and

the aspects of his characters chosen for exhibition.


He
with
and
tender
sentiment
loves to dwell
children
of his

memories

scholars,

butt

of

boyhood.

own

is fond

He

his

And

and

humor

is of the

is fond

he

of any

one

provocative of

and

who
his

in

likes
on

of old

visionaries,absent-minded
antiquaries,

dreamers.

not

himself, and

concern

thingshuman

show

to

and

up

is

He

inquiriesinto the private


people. The fact that they take
reason
why he^should take them
them
cut
they will bleed. With

the fact that if you


the logicof will and fate he does

he has

classical

too

exhaustive

these

or

so,

spiritis

of naturalism.

document

human

frequentlydull

themselves

His

France.

men,
tric
eccen-

can

be

wit.

His

the
tionalism
ra-

of
type that revels in the superstitions

the Golden

Legend;

fantasy.He

resents

his

standards

any
the unfettered

hand

irony goes

in hand

with

of verisimilitude

his

which

play of the fancy,and he insists on


salamanders
and sylphidesand on
baptizedpenguins that
raise a theological
of heaven.
problem in the courts
rule

out

Everywhere
as

and

in Anatole

it dominates

the story is

so

France

"Candide"

shaped

of the author,

to

turn

and

general

the "Tale

idea
of

bring into relief


pointneatlyand, as

to

as

the

nates,
domi-

Tub,"

the attitudes
it

were,

ANATOLE

demonstrate

FRANCE

theorem.

79

the

Perhaps

thing

guishes
distin-

which

approach from that of the novelist proper is


that the novelist is thinkingof what people are like as individuals;
he is thinkingof their individual
duct,
problems of conand he wishes to make
us
reproduce in imagination
the very state of mind
with which
they confront their problems,
follow through the whole
to make
us
agonizing process.
Whereas
the "classical" writer is thinking of what
human
is like in general,in its large lines, and is
nature
concerned
with
the individual
only in so far as he will
this

for the type.


Thus
France
conceives

stand

of human

superstitious,
and his fables
egotistical,
nature

as

irrational,sensual, and
gullible,
are
mainly a series of witty anecdotes
these traits. But

he holds

likewise

ideal of

an

to

and

never
society,
yet realized, and
in bookish
realized, but persisting

be

in the dreams

of

few

"humanists,"

and

reason

ideal of humane
never

and

tradition

ideals.

is wise

men

seldom

know

that such

characters, and

Monsieur

absent-minded,

and
impractical,

socialistic dreams
as

they are

the world

by
about

Sometimes,
theme

and

symmetry
in

its

the

convert

doctrine
of

there

is

in "L'lle

irony at

overwhelmed
futility,
vulgar animal behavior

is

in

conjunction of

favorable

of France

has the

in geometry.
reversal of roles

neat

of Love
the

"

with

ironic

the author

this appearance
des Pingouins" he

not

the expense

and
shapeliness

of

the

"

her

to

incidental
of

started

of formal

begins with
religionand ends

case

who

the monk

dissection
has

is the

Such

fallingconvert

courtezan

philosophers and
theology.Often, where

game,
Thus

accordinglyas
appears
ful
his beauticuckold. And

demonstration

"Thais," with

would

of

there

when

efficient

him.

fable, a book
of

he

air of

an

wave

on

Only

Bergeret

have

wave

are

his

he invents

of these

to

an

likely

most

professorBergeret as mouthpiece
enough

of

illustration

in

cendental
trans-

banquet
Christian
much

too

shapeliness.
istic
his rationalwith

bur-

realitythan
two

parts

the
not

are

sharp contrast
we

had

two

as

BERGERET

"MONSIEUR

people of

the

opposing

different

kinds

of

art

in the

by the underlying theme


esthetically.
art

Monsieur

camp.

merely contrasted in theme,


And
to styleof presentation.

associated

The

PARIS"

of fiction is best shown

Bergeret, and

it is here

but

that

never

we

that the

So

they

it is

so

in

are
as

if

book, loosely

same

in the

81

ciled
reallyrecon-

life of

domestic
have

the

most

likelyto live. Monsieur


and speculative
type, given to neat
little discourses
he has to say is
on
subject.What
every
primarily
penetratingand just;but since he is concerned
air of
the theoretical
with
aspect of things,he has an
which
entitles us to laugh at him at
dreamy impracticality,
the same
follow
what
he has to say with gratitime that we
fied
interest. His Shandean
character
is heightened by the
of his sister,who
dry, taciturn practicality
playsthe Sancho
is of a radiant
his Don
Panza
to
Quixote. This humor
delicacythat could not live in the presence of an intrigue
of gripping interest; the fine point of these little dialogues
would
be imperceptibleamid
the garish colors of drama
and passion.
Wherever
the members
of one
gether,
family are gathered tothere will be some
differences of opinion and some
amenities
which
so
we
ignoring of those conversational
versation,
carefullyobserve with strangers. The tone of familiar conwith its unanswered
questions,its discontinuity
of subject-matter
arisingfrom the diversityof interests,its
in various
is well rendered
funny little ellipses,
slight
skirmishes
between
Bergeret and his daughter Pauline or
passages and
Bergeret is the academic

charming

those

most

his sister Zo".


"You

have

"You

were

dog, papa?" said


not

to

have

come

Pauline.
till

Bergeret.
got my letter?" said Zo".
"Yes," said Monsieur
Bergeret.
"You

Saturday/'said

Monsieur

one."

"No,

the other

"I've

only received

"There's

NOVEL

TWENTIETH-CENTURY

THE

8*

one."
another."

understanding one

no

thing that is most delicious in the book is the


dog Riquet. On him the author has lavished his powers of
observation, his love, his philosophy,all of which
appear
There
are
togetherin the radiant synthesisof his humor.
The

here

one

this

that

seems

author

the

don't

Anatole

dog

intellectual

may
the

of
pretensions

such

his subtle

respect the food


with

finds

And

in

feel certain

as

claim

men

of

then

we

that, at

for themselves

throwing doubt

his

of the

on

do

and
you

him.

And

which
so

had
he

his

dragging
off to seat himself sadlyon
there he stayedduring the

me?"

And,

belly in

bit of

perhaps he
taught him
as

with

sign

his backside,
whole

of

had
to

regards Monsieur

reproachfuleyes,

tempt

rudiments

offers him

master

And

master.

the

Riquet

the

humble

say, "Master, why


with loose paws,
went

not

way

placeoverawed
earlier days,lessons

majestyof

Bergeret

ideas; but

men.

Bergeret

received, in his

our

not

religioussentiment. When
chicken, Riquet declines.
The

it

For

terms.

Bergeret in
being."It is true
intelligent

all of

motives

simply be

Monsieur

psychology

in agreement
with the Bewith which
the consistency
he attributes to
France

haviorists. And
his

the lower

Monsieur

with

an

is

and

conduct

all of his." I do

understand

bottom,

is

and

man

human
strictly

understand

doesn't

the

agrees

considering that Riquet


that he

in

is described

dog

between

Everything in

world.

animal
of

distinctions

invidious

no

of

over

much
lowered

as

to

tail,

humility,he
by the door.

meal.

Riquet takes very seriouslyhis duty of protectinghis


master
againstany invasion of the premises by strangers,
who
For
Monsieur
are
Bergeret,
necessarilyenemies.
Riquet is a symbol of the primitivemind of man,
blindly
conservative
the creature
of instinct and
of ingrained
"

FRANCE

HORS-D'(EUVRES:

habits

of truculence

believes

He

from

and

and

of

of

state

savage
into

being.
is capable

primitivemind

raised

being

suited

more

this

that, in mankind,

of evolution
reasonable

derived

83

something

the civil condition.

to

more

lieves
be-

He

Riquet has a good heart, and so he can love and


in humans
tolerate in the dog instinctive reactions which
Him
he can
his satirical spirit.
treat
serve
only to arouse
with humor.
Monsieur
Bergeret himself has not merely a
mind; he too is a
good heart but a civilized,reasonable
instead of
and sympathetic admiration
subjectof humor
which
satire. And
it is the chaptersdealing with him
we
that

characterize

may

fiction.

as

in method
Still,essentially,

and

this is

manner,

cal
classi-

piece of writing,typicalof the period antedating the


novel, and having in view rather different ends. It is a
human
rather than a presentation
nature
on
commentary
of it. The

author's

for the substance


as

is

concern

of its incarnation.

there is,is little more

than

slightnarrative
for gettingthe characters
philosophy. This is

Such

device

for
talking,a starting-point

hardly
There

is no

novel

Lucian,

than

much
Once

allow

of

stress

need

not

luck, is

an

effort

at

that

that dramatic

this is

and

meant

not

these matters.
about
worry
author
reallywitty,and

limitations, wise. This

is

for

novel, and

Here,

by

good

rare

within

even,

we

marked

phenomenon than a good


beings.There is
projectorof human
a

rarer

a dramatic
story-teller,
probably no greater proportionof

in the essays of Lamb


writer on the same
terms

than
a

Rabelais.

Erasmus,

close-range
study of
lives in their particularity,
with
the strain and
passionately
sought personalinterests,which does
of fiction proper.
to give life to the characters

human

so

of

more

than

for the idea rather

ever

Hazlitt.

or
as

fictional

Why

not

here

matter

accept such

accept these wise and

we

witty

essayists?
And
veins

no

one

of these

need

complain

characters.

that there

It is

good

is

no

for once,

blood
in

in the
a

book

about

and

men

free

and
of

heat

When

the

one

heat

sticky

one

the

Of

sun."

and

the

"There

passion,
full

but

light

there

Only,

heat.

commentary
more

light
novelists.

than

light.

In

than

heat;

but
is

all

light.
light

it

than

is

light,
Hardy,

the
is

the

heat

France
There

one

be

white

pure

little

is

not

may

of

light

the

light,

intellect."

is

it:

on

This

but

sun,

The

distinguish.

fiction

For

the

is

Anatole

so

Dorothy

"Here

Of

The

gaiety.

cultivated

must

we

much

of

it

of

says,

full."

reading

reads

some

dry

feeling

or

one

and

one

here;

heat

is

light

of

and

pure

in

heat

more

When

best

that

us

Bourget
is

heat,

his

at

little

Paul

is

style

have

we

"Here

sun's

give

that

laundry."

the

sun,

is

burning

the

is

whose

not

reads

steam

Tolstoy

of

light

says:

of

writer

does

oneself,

to

"Here

says,

who

one

says

messiness

and

sweat

have

to

hysterics,

novels.

Canfield

NOVEL

women,

from
and

many

its

TWENTIETH-CENTURA

THE

84

and

life

there
the

the

is

case

life

specific

and

Fielding

hardly

of

reproduction
of

of

peculiarity

rather

character
there

Thackeray

heat
with

enough
Anatole

to

make
France.

fiction

is

than
is
is

heat

more

them

IX

HORS-D'CEUVRES:

of

quality
in
and
form

and

his

manner.

and

irony

the

turns

in

see

and

his

of

quality

Colonel

his

sister

and

Zo".

of

like
their

gallantry

for

and

they take, by
inhere

in

Such

There

dreams.
the

world's

and

nation
he

was

Jest,"

while

in

resources,

could

which

dying

in

be

ignorance
85

And
and

delight

paradoxes
stance.
circum-

and

in

Kennaston,

attempts

plundered
what

amorous

the

those

for

have

of

and

"He

of

of

Bergeret

writers

by

to

Bonnard

between

exploring
his

he

virtues.

effort
up

the

by

similarity

bare

Colombo.

Cristoforo

was

size

defenceless
and

the

lay

of

Musgrave

folly,

turned

ironies

least

human

of

nature

the

of

to

gard
re-

fanciful

too

episodes

hutnan

in

Sylvestre

these

with

turn,

it

Is

that

fondness

is the

the

of

by

whom

on

between

think

one

merely

times

at

persons

at

of

matters

are

genteel

relation

exposing

were

Cream

the

witty

they

of
is

narratives

some

of

kinsman

There

not

him

old-fashioned

of

makes

more

that

sort

traits

persuasion,

general

affection.
a

Bergeret?

Agatha

still

the

France

many

mind

to

suggests

amused

his

tastes,

his

even

and

embroidering

"The

business,

tenderness

wry

which

and

Musgrave

antiquarian

But

by

He

of

Monsieur

the

and

brings

with

novel
so

stands

who

Cabell,

them

he

humor

light

with

France

aims

importance.

Branch

traditional

shares

grace,

human

to

little

who

and

Barres,

the

to

distinguishing

the

is

heat,

James

relation

than

American

our

like

so

rather

again,

JIGHT,

CABELL

history
had
to

his

doubled
find

with
his

in

some

nity;
impu-

endeavors

had
to

achieved."
find the

discovered

NOVEL

TWENTIETH-CENTURY

THE

86

And
of

means

there

was

making

the alchemist

who, "seeking

had
life perpetual,

accidentally

gunpowder."

Cabell and
point out between
to
Barr"s, but to labor the point of similaritymight seem
writer. And
in the American
of originality
suggest a want
have few writers more
we
originalthan Cabell. His prose
most
styleis in itself a creation highly individual and of the utsupplenessand charm. Of that I have treated at length
in "The
Prose."
Outlook
for American
Again, he has
the greatest inventiveness
in adapting to his use
shown
does he take a plot
the matter
of medieval
Never
romance.
the origiincident ready-made. Never
trace
or
can
one
an
nal
of an
episode.But, deeply impregnated as he is with
and
romance
some
folklore, he has always ready to hand
incident
of necromancy,
some
typicalnotion of the folkwill
mind
to the working of fetish and
talisman, which
as
perfectlysymbolize the spiritualtransaction called for by
his theme.
Thus
he has invented
entire cyclesof imagtwo
inary
adventure, the cycles of Jurgen and Manuel,
pletely
comfurnished
with kings and queens,
with wizards and
creatures,
speaking birds, invisible
champions, monstrous
And
literal-minded
cloaks, and magic transformations.
sons
perhe has the pleasureof mystifyingwith learned
ence
referSimilarities

to

The

text

I could

and

invention

also

source.

itself is fun, but

what

is

important is the
meaning underlying each event, the systematic development
of a theme; and, above all,the perfection
with which
the author
has compounded
his diverse
elements
mance
roand rationality,
irony and idealism
reducing them
"

"

to

one

consistent

elixir,of characteristic

flavor and

virtue.

of his legendary
more
speaking now
particularly
tales like "Jurgen" (1919) and "Figures of Earth"
(1921).
He
has stories,too, dealing with "real" people, who
take
part in credible action in the contemporary
settingot old
Such
Cords
"The
of Vanity" (1909)
Virginia towns.
are
am

and

Rivet

"The

many

stories

all of

are

87

(1915).But in
piece with the pure

Neck'1

Grandfather's

in

these

ways

CABELL

BRANCH

JAMES

likelyto hear, at any time, that a citizen


is a great-grandsonof the mythical Jurgen,
of Lichfield
he has been
and that, through the favor of Ole-Luk-Oie,
in the glaze of a mustard
jarl the
permitted to meet
You

romances.

are

"

"

dead

he

woman

is "The

Rivet

loved.

The

realistic of all the novels

most

in Grandfather's

Neck."

But

this story
china
about
a

even

begins with an anecdote out of Andersen,


went
shepherdessand a chimney-sweep, who once
up the
chimney to take a look at the wide world and then came
back
to
frightenedat the world's great size, and content
in the cupboard. And
the story, having
stay cozilyat home
allusion
begun with this pretty fable, to which, moreover,
is made

from

time

it all

to

time

throughout

the narrative, there

of

apologue and allegory.


liberat
"The
of the Jest"(1917)the two
Cream
types are deblent. And
this curious
performance illustrates
the natin all Cabell's work, implicitly
ural
or
explicitly,

clingsto
In

how

and

scent

some

the

ideal and

magical, the

the

dreary

matter-of-

"misty midbook
of real and imaginary. This
region" or borderland
by a Mr. Harrowby, who has
begins with an introduction
his fortune
made
in cold-cream, and who
givesan air of
pedestrianauthenticityto Felix Kennaston, the deceased
Then
author.
we
pass directlyto mythical Storisende,
another

fact, interpenetrate
one

where
the

meet

we

lady of

the subtle

dreams.

From

clerk
thence

in

sort

of

Horvendile
we

return

and

Ettarre,

again to

field
Lich-

Like
commonplace world of Felix Kennaston.
marries
other commonplace people, Kennaston
and
goes
to whist
partiesand takes little satisfaction in "the world
and wont."
of use
But he has an artist's imagination,and
Storisende
the magic sigilof
from
has brought with him
and

the

Scoteia, with
this he
with

returns

the

which
at

immortal

he
will

induce

can

to

dreams.

the dream

Ettarre.

And

world
not

With
and

the aid of
communes

merely this, but he

of that ideal

OF

CREAM

"THE

could

He

woman.

JEST"

THE

face

89
without

decision

no

and

temptation without

ing;
dodg-

lied,

he

compromise;
by instinct,at the threatened approach of discomfort or
and seraphim would
fellows' disapproval;
yet devils,men
no

in vain

it occurred

[And]
historyof

our

flesh that each

the

dearest. To
and

to

race,

thus

of

must

this

us

this

it is in

serve

his dream;

must

parody

and

which

what

fail in

he
are.

we

it evades

and

inadequate

so, must

that

being

the dream,

to

spire
con-

essentials,the

condemned,

seem

we

play false

all,we

For
.

in

historywas,

far.
.

of his

his self-elected purpose.

from

that his

me

service, and

dream's

one

him

dissuade

to

if

as

holds

Thus,
us,

and

responsiblecitizens. And yet always thereafter


of many
that
"because
know, assuredly,
we
abiding memories"
the way of flesh is not
a futile scurryingthrough dining-rooms
offices arid shops and
and
parlors,and thronged streets and
dwindle

into

restaurants,

"and

we

so

bed."

to

in

appropriatesilence, therefore, that I regarded Felix


The
a parable.
Kennaston,
as
not
man
was
merely very human;
he was
humanity. And I reflected that it is only by preserving
that we
faith in human
dreams
after all, perhaps some
may,
It

day

was

make

Thus

swings

them

come

through
pulse of
back

ideal and

true.

all the work


dream

of Cabell

and

disillusion.

feel the alternating

we

The

and Torth perpetuallybetween

pendulum
the

visioned

futilityactual dissonance mocking


the imagined harmony, and intended
harmony making us
with
the fatal dissonance.
The
incidents and figindulgent
ures
of every day are
forever dissolving
like mist, to show
us
fleetingglimpses of the faery landscape behind. And
the shadowy heroes of romance
forever taking on
the
are
of common
burghers. Jurgen turns
grotesque substance
from gallantadventure
back weary
to his shop and
spouse.
Dom
Manuel
after his own
forth bravely to follow
sets
he finds himself
desire. But
soon
thinking and his own
with
terms
caught in the net of success, making endurable
the world, experiencingonly the correct
emotions, and in
all thingsdoing that which
was
expectedof him. Thus even
the realized

"

figuresof

the
back

Of

NOVEL

TWENTIETH-CENTURY

THE

go

romance

are

the

dusty world

the

more

givingus

mirrors

like broken

of matter-of-fact.

the

realistic novels

one

has the est


greatfather's
Rivet in Grand-

which

perhaps''The
of
in the character
Neck."
The
theme
objectified
Colonel
Musgrave is the old South survivingprecariously
in times with which
it is out
of keeping.This gentleman
the material
the pride of family without
perity
prospreserves
of
consistency

and

usefulness
who
and

is

it support. He
preserves the old
out
and the old refinements, withthe old gallantry

which
honor

texture

once

or

gave

accomplishment. He

represents the

new

blood, the

she, with all her admiration

content

It is

with
a

new

is married
wealth

and

to

girl

energy;

for his fineness,cannot

be

his

futility.
theme,
significant

and

the

flesh in

which

it is

justsufficient color of naturalness to give it


charm.
sufficient to give it a
and
It is not
plausibility
The
figuresare outlined suggesstrong effect of actuality.
tively;
the drawing is delicate and artful. But the people
have an air as if they had juststeppedout of a canvas
by
should
be surBoucher, Watteau, or Fragonard. We
not
prised
skirts gracefullybalanced
them
in flounced
to see
in a swing,or taking boat for the isle of Cythera.
The
plot,too, is ingenious rather than natural. Things
about not as in ordinary life so much
come
as in a comedy
of Beaumarchais
Marivaux.
or
Everythingis arranged so
that Colonel
invariablythe gesture
Musgrave may make
appropriatefor a gentleman of the old school; and one has
that it is all very much
a feeling
arranged.To begin with,
Musgrave has taken on himself the blame for the adulteries
of his friend Charteris, in order to keep Charteris's wife
from
For Musgrave
knowing of her husband's infidelity.
clothed

has

"THE

loved

Anne

one.

falls in love with

middle

Patricia

and
Stapylton,

to

in

Then,

ravishingyoung

91

ture
happy. Gesage, Musgrave

wished

Charteris, and

number

NECK"

GRANDFATHER'S

IN

RIVET

her

see

venes,
interengaged to marry her. But a young man
capturing the imagination of Patricia; and on the
evening when Musgrave's engagement to Patricia is to be
made
by announcing magnanimously
public,the Colonel anticipates

becomes

the engagement
Gesture

number

two.

of Patricia

Tableau.

But
.

proves the best strategy,and


but

man

the Colonel.

Charteris

in

years pass

with

love

the young
but John

not

by, and who


Musgrave's wife Patricia

The

making love to
Musgrave'sown
garden? For life has
fallen

her young
man.
the noble gesture

Patricia marries

is

has

to

dull, and

grown

in

cia
Patri-

brilliant,unscrupulous

the

writer.
.

What

shall

do?

Musgrave

will

He

for her sake or his


yes, but not
prevent her eloping with his friend

"

friend's wife. For


at

he

all costs,

has
to

loved

fightto keep his wife


will fightto
He
own.

"

Anne

in order

to

Charteris

leave her undisturbed

spare his
termine
and is de-

in her fool's

Fine attitude,and fine distinction of motivel


paradise.
But how
prevent the elopement, seeing that Charteris is
such a cynic?There
is nothing for it but to reveal to him
.

that

the

he

is the Colonel's

Musgraves! Tableau.

1 do

not

to

mean

theatrical in his
with
and

than

the cool

half-brother, illicitscion

own

handling of

precisionof

of

de theatre.

Coup

suggest for

moment

that Mr.

Cabell

is

this

plot.Every point is made


player who detests mouthing

panache.But the pattern of action itselfis such as suggests


of the stage more
the make-up and artificial lighting
the crude

or

sober colors of

common

life.Even

more

Vanity"is the arrangement of


It is amusing
ironies in a sardonic
"comedy of shirking."
enough when the writer Townsend, requiringfor his next
novel justthe righttone of ingenuousnessin love, spends
ingeniousin

"The

Cords

of

TWENTIETH-CENTURY

THE

92

the

takingnotes on his tender passages with an


only to find that his ingenue is herself a

summer

ingenue

novelist,and
notes

her book
such

old hand,

an

as
industriously

as

NOVEL

before

that she has taken

that, and

at

he and

has

already brought out

he has his

But one
ready for the printer.
enough. The comedy becomes
Townsend,
needing a rich wife,

is not

contretemps

hilarious
positively

when

discovers that he has wooed

the poor cousin of the


covers
of the heiress herself
and then dis-

heiress instead

and

won

that the poor cousin has


took him for a wealthyfriend, a
life is to be loved for himself and
that Mr.
with

Cabell

is much

acceptedhim
whose

man

she

because

passionin

one

his wealth.

not

It is clear

with pattern than

concerned

more

plausibility.

Of

course

standard

should

we

of realism

recentlytold
different

his

were

as

well

doubt

no

beauty.Only,

as

truth of "life"

he does not

artistic aims
is

so

much

to

judge him

from

that he

by

(1932),how

those of his
is in

temporaries.
con-

pursuitof

the truth he seeks is not

the essential truth of human

as

has

subscribe. He

Restless Heads"

"These

own

There
truth

which

to

in

us,

undertake

not

the
ture.
na-

or
representative
"general"truth, as Aristotle
calls it,the truth of
philosophical
poetry, which is "a more
and a more
serious thingthan history,
for poetry is chiefly
about generaltruth, historyabout particular."
conversant
In this contrast
of functions, fiction has mostly ranged
itself along with history,
since it has gone in for the particular,
in
the documentary. But Mr. Cabell has thrown
his lot with
the
poetry, which
goes in for the general,
Burton
It is this difference of aim
that Mr.
spiritual.

It is

Rascoe

has in mind

the revised edition


truth that Mr.

of

Cabell

of the term,

he says, in his introduction

when

"Chivalry": "We
is

but

not
a

accept the

must

novelist in the

to

common

historian of the human

ceptance
ac-

soul."

CABELL

HORS-D'CEUVRES:

In

the

not

the

form

be,

and

still

his

of

that

journey.

the

Only,
ideal

of

in

he

holds

There
ilated

is

creating

while

the

Maid.

heat.

pale

figure
of

in

and

of

dreams.

And

diffused

the

the

we

only
have

light

is

garden

shines

to

in

the

fall

him,
the

not

of

illumination

they

the

pearly

back
as

of

do

ever

humanly
I

light

say,

of

moon.

radiance

his

light
but

sun,

Through
of

suing
puron

more

the

the

have

Latmos,

upon

And

world.

substance

material

of

him

thought.

his

dream

his

market,

corn

fails

never

forth

body

unassim-

of

Cabell

with

of

Endymion

an

Cynthia

this

to

events

have

in

Thus

his

so,

that

parody

must

poet's faculty

symbols

not

may

supernal

Indian

the

For

and

substance
a

question

any

Henchard

poetic

and

service,

and

dream;

his

serve

quate
inade-

dearest."

persons

these

must

us

dream's

never

the

Michael

than

the

myths

are

of

ideal

this

it is in

"For

variable
in-

same

visioned

the

between

forth

the

ever

the

into

but

space

form

stories.

his

of

shape

the

where
some-

the

naturally

takes

it follows

and

follows
has

Cabell

is

it may

elusiveness,

material

into

not

each

philosophy.

Such

Mr.

generally

and

back

line.
story

Poictesme,

that

fail

which

is

to

disillusioning compromise.
flesh

must

is

that

journey
cycle,

the

man's

every

And

realm

and

unbroken

and

times

else,

books

diversified

however

at

even

all

his

of

form

sired.
de-

be

to

before

him

in

The

which,

little

leaves

of

aware

substance.

shaded

simple
said

is

thought,

subtly

Cabell

Mr.

one

from

apart
of

form,

is what

Form

though

of

matter

93

his

every
moon

DOSTOEVSKI

PHILOSOPHY:

JL

philosophy,

the

Tolstoy

and

doubt

do

fine

partially

the

to

the

"Henry

the

of

comedy

of

Thackeray

what

it

against

in

him.

If

how

much

in

Like
It

is

but

which

with

has

manners

which

Trollope.

did

less would
of

normal

his

moral

of

that

think

like

the

have

an

of
think

us

inkling

stoy,
Tol-

of

cal
mysti-

strange
which

values

of

rabid

so

fanaticism
the

ing
vary-

command

Conrad

liked

human

of

Night"

makes

made

have

he

of

"Twelfth

eral
gen-

our

Tolstoy,

Tolstoy

not

of

no

only

corresponds

in

which

Dostoevski
Conrad

none

tales, is

Poe's

like

that

chology,
psylurid

of

sort

of

as

morbid

in

atmosphere

capable,

not

He

infidelity that
are

(1866)

and

Ivan

which,

have

taken

have

fallen

so

at

philosophy
of

much

have
from

victim

more

to

the

"Crime

been

virulently

Paissy.
94

at

often

so

the

in

religious.

root

about

murders

Punishment"

(1881).

western

scientific

is

and

Karamazov"

Karamazov

coming

of

bottom

the

stories

Brothers

"The
and

is
the

woven

kolnikov

Father

that

novelist

Dostoesvki.

which

by

is

Fourth."

Tolstoy's,

atheism

like

daylight

"Macbeth"

transvaluation
is felt

which,

great

books

his

In

Dostoevski.

to

specialist

all

creation,

He

or

was

is

common

of

tone

given
as

moral

systematized

him

is about

artistic

experience.
the

He

atmosphere

be

think

not

there

form

novel

must

Turgenev.

or

nightmare

the

palm
I

respects

many

or

in

dramatizing

OR

Both

infected

with

Europe,

seems

holy

materialism

Russia.

Ras-

that
to

They

described

DOSTOEVSKI

PHILOSOPHY:

"Remember,

unceasingly,that

man,
young
has become

world, which

95

in the
has, especially

great power,

down

last century, analyzedeverythingdivine handed


After
this cruel
the holy books.
analysisthe
world

have

have

only

nothing left of
analyzed the

their blindness

With
a

want

all that

parts

sacred

was

to

learned

in

us

of this

of old. But

they

the whole, and

overlooked

and

of this

the science

deed
in-

is marvellous."

students their atheism


these young
of faith in human
which
nature,

with

is associated
believe

they

be

to

radicallycruel, scoundrelly,and corrupt. Dostoevski


goes
clear the actual cruelties and miseries
to great pains to make
existingin the world which have proved too much
for the faith of these sensitive souls. And
having lost their
and the order of things,
faith in God
they arrive by logical
that for the infidel all things
deduction
at the conclusion
lawful.

are

with

accordance

In

have

Karamazov

Ivan

ideal of the

he

man-god,

commit

must

in "Crime

he

into that of
ordinaryslavish humans
like Napoleon. Incidentallyhe has
spirits
class of

to

cannot

put

the crime.

his

even

pursue
of the way

out

good

act

in itself
"

is in

He

mean

and

himself
prove
murder.
Only by
can

extreme

and

Nietzschean
ment,"
Punish-

such

to

deliberation

and

Raskolnikov

for themselves

erected

that, in order

in all coolness

blood

logic,both

Raskolnikov,

overman.

believes

this

shedding

rise from

the

the great free


ments
incitemany

poverty,

that he

so

universitystudies. He has only


and scoundrellyold woman

and

"

he

will be

able

to

save

to
a

his sister

degrading marriage,and in general to indulge his


natural generosity.
is a great experiment in the new
His crime
morality.
Unfortunately, it does not succeed. He does not do it
with nervousness
and confusion
of
coolly;he is overcome
from

mind,
himself

and

fails

to

his

secure

obliged to

murder

person, who

does

victim's

the old
not

deserve

he finds
money;
woman's
sister,an excellent
to

be

put

out

of the

"CRIME

PUNISHMENT"

AND

97

isolation of
impossibleto bear the spiritual
he was
crime, and how, accordingly,
brought to the point
his spiritual
where
regenerationmight begin.
I cannot
experienceof this
imagine how a psychological
in draworked
matic
out
satisfactorily
magnitude could be more
affair up to the Epilogue involves
whole
form. The
the half a dozen
but nine days, if we
count
out
days of

it

found

man

the

days

preparationfor
days leading up

of

six

and

of these

Each

of

obliviousness

mere

days

the confession

to

is crowded

with

of Raskolnikov.

with

confronted

situation.

During

they are

with

the three

embodied

and

states

of mind

always those of a
problem; they are

present urgent

is the
states

never

almost

are

always provoked by

almost

experiencesof

the

concerned

But

They
presentedabstractly.
man

surrender.

of sensations, incidents, acts,

everywhere

are

we

of mind

and

confrontations.

dramatic

What

two

crime, the day of the crime,

the

soul, expressed in the form


and

exhaustion:

and

sickness

in

dramatic

days leading to the crime, we


incidents.
act
by many specific

being preparedfor this


of human
The
crueltyand scoundrelism
the platonic abstraction
Raskolnikov
are

is

nature

of

not

for

disillusioned

him by the family


forced upon
It is pictorially
man.
young
Marmeladov
life of drunken
and, in particular,
by the case
of

Marmeladov's

these

daughter

thingsin

his unconscious

in his terrible dream


death.

need

The
is

to

is urgentlyforced

upon

is rendered

fencingwith
his crime

in

humanity

are

with

mind

reverberation

is

him

in

scene

scene

Above
justice.

off from

developedin great

his sister,his mother,

in the abstract.

and

situation

his crime, the

after

the

mare

sweet

to

riage
degradingmar-

the immediate

letter. After

the officers of

cuttinghim

by

of

vividlyobjectified
beats his

that he conceives

in his mother's

discovery

The

of the peasant who


his sister from
save

something

not

Sonia.

of

It
vealed
re-

fear of

desperate

all,the effects of
intercourse

of

detail in the many


scenes
his friend Razumihin.
It

would

take much

and

the

at

long to

too

point is

plot.The

NOVEL

TWENTIETH-CENTURA

THE

g8

that

time

same

have

we

forth all the

set

here

of the

turns

highlycomplicated
playing
plot,all devised for dis-

close-knit

predicament of this lost soul, and that every


of the screw
does but give a further turn
incident
to his
desperation.
acter
feature only I will mention, and that is the charOne
It illustrates so well Dostoevski's
of Svidrigailov.
failing
unhe has an
abstract principleto
instinct, whenever
ment.
develop, for inventing a real character to be its embodiRaskolnikov, his leading character, he wishes to be
ness
the whole
on
sympatheticto the reader. His very sensitivethe

of

is the

which

The
both

each

case

of Ivan

wishes

the

the

he has used

in the

for miserable

man's

for

Raskolnikov
He

nothing

noble

mean

and
him.

Raskolnikov

Raskolnikov's

into

comes

religiousposition;

Ivan

corruptedby

about

sensual

or

soul

And

false

theft, but

phy.
philosothere

pictureof
whose

what

weakness
he

story because

seems

therefore

is for
thinks

always to

is

to

theories

his

Svidrigailovknows
has

theme

he has been

him
that

certain

the

involve

vilest

Raskolnikov

moral

be in his

might

of
is

the
now

serves

Raskolnikov

to

present

Raskolnikov

women.

is

is,on the
Svidrigailov
is on the side of pride.

of great trouble
Raskolnikov's
to
sister,and
wishes to marry
her. But the main
that he
purpose

developing the

in

Karamazov

cause

in

found
pro-

it is Svidrigailov.

murder

committed

has

what
sensuality,

side of
He

is

the

in

shadowing forth
he has provided

this necessary truth. For each of these men


double
shadow.
For
of obscene
or
a kind
it is Smerdyakov; for Raskolnikov

manity.
hu-

But

it himself.

device

same

unfaith

an

Karamazov.

understand

to

man

to

understand

to

us

uglinessimplied

wishes

liable

more

sympathy

thing is true

same

moral

all the

of his

measure

Dostoevski

cases

he

him

makes

nature

in

abhors
the

person
rigailov;
Svid-

vile.

murderer,

But
and

advantage over him. And he


path. It is not an agreeablesitua-

"THE

KARAMAZOV"

BROTHERS

tion

for Raskolnikov.

It is

were

perpetuallythere

to

99

self,a viler self,

if another

as

him

remind

vile he is.

how

pendent
is a complete and indeSvidrigai'lov
character, with his own
way
historyand his own
of solvinghis problem
in his case, as in that of SmerdyaDostoevski
it is not
kov, it is by suicide. And, moreover,
who
tells us that he has this kind of symbolicalrelation to
The

best of it is that

"

Raskolnikov.

draw

We

prompting by

the author.

factor in

expiation,this
the

that

that if

So

is an
Svidrigai'lov

driving Raskolnikov

is but

theme
philosophical

confession

to

reminder

another

the

without

conclusion

of how

portant
im-

and

completely

dramatized

is in this novel

least

in the

story.

The
to
on

theme

of "The

that of "Crime
more

Brothers

and

sides than

is very similar

Karamazov"

Punishment."

in the other

leading character, Raskolnikov,

Only,
book.

Instead

have

we

it is

developed
of the

three

one

brothers,

each

attitude toward
the fundamental
a different
typifying
is first
spiritual
question,a different state of grace. There
Ivan, who has been so impressed with the senselessness and
life that he rejects
who
has so
the God
crueltyof human
and
ordered
the true
things.There is,at the other extreme,
simple believer, Alyosha, whose mind and life are penetrated
with the good in which
between
the
he trusts. And
two

is Dmitri,

without

his

and

climax

at

heart

believer

but

one

in whom,

almost

knowing it, the doubt which is in the air he


breathes
has been
working to corrupt him, making him
of himself, and
wilder
unsure
turning him into an even
and more
unbridled
sensualist than he is by nature.
Dmitri
is reallythe central figurein the composition,
his

the

father.

He

comes

with

knows

he

his
is

not

murder

of

actuallyguilty of

this

arrest

for the

ther's
crime; but he realizes that in his heart he did wish his fadeath; he regardshimself as a thief and a despicable

NOVEL

TWENTIETH-CENTURA

THE

ioo

by
pride he had is completely broken down
he
the grilling
he is put through by the policeofficers.And
if he is condemned.
begins to feel that it does not matter
What

worm.

Like

so

of the

I have

persuaded
he begins to look
the expiationof a

and
suffering,

commit.

not

indication

no

of

the

complicatedevents

here shows
up the plotof this book. Dostoevski
osity
of the great masters
in the art of arousingcuri-

one

and

is

characters, he

of his salvation, to

means

given

make

himself

back

the

as

he did

which

of

salutarypower

forward,
crime

of Dostoevski's

many

He

maintaining suspense.

his main

facts and

"release"

how

knows
them

at

to

just the

keep
right

Among other things,"The Brothers Karamazov"


is a "murder
that by comparison
mystery" so expertlyconducted
the contraptions
of Messrs. Van
Dyne and Wallace
pale into insignificance.
will say, the book
is fundamentally sentimental
But, some
one
in its assumptions.The
sistent,
psychology may be conbut it is not
have to
we
true, it is mythical.What
do with is not
intellectual or religious
wrong-headedness
but simply mania, simply this and that form of psychological
this
I
able
On
to judge.It is a
perversion.
point am not
here is Dostoevski's
concerns
me
question for the experts. What
moment.

art

as

novelist. He

which

he holds

has, at any

rate,

cal
philosophi-

in all

in common
with
sincerity
a good many
people.And the important thing for us is that
he has succeeded
in bodying it forth magnificently
in terms
of individual
character,speech,and action.
Alyosha alone is a great dramatic creation, a personality
of radiant beauty whom
he has succeeded
in making thoroughly
and whose
plausible,
simple goings back and forth

system

among
way
who
He

the hideous
of life

worthy

understands
knows

circumstances

how

of

the
to

our

human

deal with

complex," which

most

of this story constitute


serious thought. He is one

heart

without

the disease known

in Russia

seems

to

despisingit.
as

have

an

ority
"inferi-

raged with

DOSTOEVSKI

PHILOSOPHY:

particularvirulence
has

He

101

novel, "Bystander
genius for gettingalong with children,
"

witness

Gorki's

recent

he

if they were
as
always treats precisely
grown-ups,
be worth while
It would
and therebywins their confidence.
acter.
studyingin great detail Dostoevski's handling of this charFor in it he has accomplishedthat well-nighimpossible
feat of making goodness as real and as interesting
as
whom

evil.
tion
it is the story of Dmitri
that givesthe best illustraof how
Dostoevski
a thesis in moral
phy.
philosoobjectifies

But

It is he

is driven

who

by

his

himself

in

undisciplinedpassions,
his self-contempt,
and his unsettlement
of spirit,
to a series
of rash and scandalous
which
in his being
culminate
acts
of murder.
of
convicted
It is he who, under
the grilling
the policeofficers,
down
has his pride so broken
that he is
serious state
brought at length to a penitentand spiritually
of mind. It is he who, through the love and faith of Alyosha
and
and his determina
Grushenka, is supported in his self-respect
to

His

of grace.
that of Raskolnikov.
The

is very similar to
is that Dmitri, never

case

corrupted by
restored
is carried

to

much

in the
include
own

maintain

Brothers

of

cases

point in

Karamazov"

of the

than

been

so

Raskolnikov,
So

that his

is

of fiction. And

Alyosha

and

ference
dif-

thoroughly
more

ily
read-

spiritual
history

that of Raskolnikov

objectivemanner

the variant

different

as

rightmind.

farther

state

having

false doctrines
his

"

and

then, if

Ivan, each

at

ways
alwe

his

of grace, we
that "The
see
remarkable
tion
illustrastill more

the road
is

of dramatizingphilosophy.
possibility
I might have chosen
Of course,
Tolstoy to illustrate this
Or
I might have
chosen
possibility.
Turgenev or Gorki,
connoisseurs
writers whom
regard more
highly than
many
It is certain that they are
Dostoevski.
plainerrealists than
he, more
simply presentinglife under its familiar aspects,
less given to warping it in the direction of their moral
dilectio
prefor choosing Dostoevski
is twofold.
My reason

In

first

the

then

builder

of

the
of

is

objectifying

showing

And

this
how

And

plot

in

being

philosophy

He
the

so,

in

In
is

one

is

the

he
and

is

story

he

is

positive

of

fiction.

in

several

the

great

obvious

most

means

remarkable

most

the

writer,

case

the

and

plain

any

of

form

the

dramatic

"dramatic."

of

examples

out

more

theme.

story-tellers,
word.

much

word

plots.

better

gives
worked

system
he

of

senses

he

place

philosophical
And

NOVEL

TWENTIETH-CENTURA

THE

102

simple
best

one

may

go

of
of

sense

to

hand

sian
Rusthat
for

choose
in

hand.

XI

PHILOSOPHY:

BEFORE
wish

to

have

undertaken

who

mention

stands

other

two

in

such

prevail

this

in

It is

to

who

Russia,

first Zola,

Dostoevski

in

Zola

that

of

purport

materialistic

novel,

And

science

to

whole

the

of

line.

contrast

assumptions.

make

philosophical
outside

men,

marked

hop_e_of mankind,jand

is to

the

of

subject

large things

fundamental
the

the

leaving

MANN

THOMAS

ZOLA,

his

looks

writing

his

social

of

interpretation

as

phenomena.
His

"Lourdes"
which
of

return
a

had

he

the

challenge

give
by

bringing

in

Our

her

all this, he

horrors,
which
for

his

But
the
Marie.

has

young
Pierre

the

city
the

in

of

with

of

whom

to

of

the

and

with

with

hypocrisies
has

He

chosen

de

from

physicians regard

gin
Vir-

sufferings,

Marie

woman,

helpless cripple

modern

same

the

1858. Along

year

mass-view

young

the

at

dertakes
un-

typical

pilgrimage,

sudr-pilgrimages.
a

the

while

jvas

he

novel

one

Lourdes,

in

work

been

most

his

of

his

pieties, enthusiasms,

"nervous

for

of

in

Arid

the

This

world.

simple sheep-girl

character

central

the

though

to

associated

who

saint,

of

first appearance

wishes

hisjowji Hfetime,

modern

account

Lady
the

on

heroisms,
are

the

tation
manifes-

prodigious

within
to

history

especial emphasis
made

witnessed

detailed

of

study

^Ta^sTalionalismL

wrought

cures

is

supernatural

.tp_

to

time

(1894)

Guer-

girlhood,

her

tially
essen-

as

case."

register of impressions
Abb6
has

Pierre,
ceased

to

who
be
103

has
a

he

long

has

chosen

been

believer,

but

in

love
he

tic,
skepwith

goes

to

PHILOSOPHY:

of other

dozens

or

ZOLA

creations

105

tiously
less ambi-

in novels

of Zola

conceived.
Of

I do

course

series

Macquart
taken

as

not

mean

not

was

whole, it is not

philosophy.Many

suggest that the Rougonambitiouslyconceived, and that,

an

of the

to

of social

impressivemonument
individual

of

novels

series

the

velop
like other novels, and desubjects,
and
them
with art and imagination."L'Assommoir"
"Nana"
skilful and moving
the most
are
certainlyamong
read. Only I do not
regard
piecesof fiction I have ever
moir"
them
as
philosophicalnovels. The
subject of "L'Assom(1878)is clearlystated in Zola's preface:
their

have

I have

themes,

paint the fatal decline


poisoned atmosphere of our

wished

family in

the

ties,the obscenities

feelings,and

simply moral

theme.

and
of

idleness

follow

the
promiscuity,

But

develop

Zola

(1880) is

"Nana"

each

these

novel; and

what

is

there

case,

another

is in the

too

wise

an

artist

implicationswithin
we

and

shame

of honest

death.

It

in action.

causes

In

loss
progressive

implicationthat societyas a whole is to


that make
possiblecreatures
Nana.

working-class
faubourgs. In the
relaxing of family

then, for denouement,

subjectof
same

of

to

of drunkenness

wake

is

or

have

followingin

the

the ruin

and

is in

wake

one

to

background

blame
like

for the

limits

that he
of

the
ditions
con-

and

Coupeau

suppose

the
case

aspect of the

can

single

simply the degradation

of alcoholism

and

idleness, in

of fortunes attendingon
dissipation
lust. These
subjectsare boldly conceived, conscientiously
studied, and most
tural
humanly presented.The greatest strucskill is shown
in organizingthe material
around
a
series of occasions which
follow out a plan of scenical narrativey^Considered
better
purely as novels, they are much
than books like "Lourdes"
and "V"rit""
work
(1902).And
for this may
be that they are
much
one
reason
so
more
to
purely works of the imagination,that they undertake
the other

carry
make

theory.The others
impressionof being doctrinaire,
of social

load

smaller

much

NOVEL

TWENTIETH-CENTURY

THE

io6

by comparison the

fail to rise into the class of

and

show

us

fiction the vehicle

of

whole, Zola

making

serves

to

So that, on the
masterpieces.
once
again the difficultiesof
philosophy.

My final example of the use of the novel as a vehicle for


author, Thomas
theory is the work of a contemporary
"The
a product of this-side-the-war,
Mann, and even
Magic
Mountain"
("Der Zauberberg," 1925).To this book I came
with

favor

in
prepossession

every

"Buddenbrooks,"

"Death

of its author.

in Venice/'

Books

"Tristan"

had

like
made

novelists
perhaps that one of ^living
suited my personaltaste in qualityand
who
most
perfectly
Above
method.
all, "Buddenbrooks"
(1903),with its epic
of life through several generain the representation
tions,
sweep
of family life among
the
its authoritative
treatment
of Mr. Galsworthy,
to the work
so
parallel
wealthy "bourgeoisie,"
but having to my seeming so much
more
depth and
me

think

mass

It

that he

and

resonance.

was

of Thomas

represent

to

was

Mann

myself what

American
in contemporary
of
but that one
word
no

I
it

was

thought

when

that seemed

I wished
to

fiction,and for which

to

lacking

me

can

find

strictly
European connotations,
1 do not refer to that entitywhich it is
"soul" (dme, Seele).
of religionto save
the function
immortally,and I am far
Mann
Thomas
is not
from
a
meaning sentimentality.
in sentimental
characters,and still
specializes
in a sentimental
I
less does he interpretthem
way. What
have in mind
simplyquality
perhapsbe denominated
may
the part of the author
in personalexperience,
the sense
on
itself. It is this which
of value in personality
giveswhat I
called resonance,
which
have
gives depth and a kind of
writer

who

bloom

to

the work

of Continental

writers such

as

do

not

MANN

PHILOSOPHY:

often

characterize

107
in

present-daynovelists

England,

and

stillless in America.
This

find

qualityI
whatever

any French
in the scale of

his rank

find it in Colette, in Mauriac,

in Andre

Russian

age, in

of

writers

"Cement."

In

find

not

Hugh

clever and

what

who

any

There

is

interest

who

the

not

to

seem

most

me

are

writer.

times
some-

it. They

invest the human

European

for

are

the
end, sophisticated
as

no

in and

personality

for itself which


Of

Anderson

is Sherwood

substitute

suggestion of

least

of value

know

not

how

fiction of

to

comes

course

there

in

"Winesburg

are

that somehow,
than

we

with

Thomas

Mann

were;

for this lack in

account

qualitywhich

so

exceptions.
Ohio"

for the
or

temporary
con-

our

formerly there in
Melville, Howells, James), unless

plenty(witnessHawthorne,

infected

most
Gira").Al-

White."

"Poor

cruder

Pirandello

sun,
writers, in Ham-

sentimental

inventive

and

sense

to

I do

have

they do

that

natural

"Si

and

Pascal"

of

Huxley or in Sinclair Lewis.


Baring, Charles Morgan, and

I find

writers

smart

devil, but

and

it in Aldous

American
those

with

author

Gladkov,

it in Scandinavian

like Maurice

Walpole

it. The

I find it in

Gide.

Lagerlof,in SigridUndset.

in writers

And

find

I
"greatness."

highestdegree in

in "II fu Mattia

invariablyI
I do

Soviet

find it in

ItalyI

(forexample
in

the

tinction
of dis-

writer

in almost

was

moment,

else that

we

have

we

English utilitarianism.
is the author

who

are

and

younger

been

too

strongly

that may
be,
stands in my mind

However

most

possessionof this quality.Tragic and cruel as his


of
pictureof life may be, there is always in his treatment
of one
character
who
as
a sensitiveness, a feelingquality,
And
realizes that he has to do with livingcreatures.
what
could be a better equipment for the art of making characters
for the

live?
In

There

"Buddenbrooks"
is

no

that

philosophyto

be

is all he
found

undertakes

there,

at

least

to
on

do.
the

io8

THE

TWENTIETH-CENTURY

surface. The

NOVEL

book

rise
theory of cyclical
imply some
organism. At any rate, there is no
tain"
philosophical
speculation.But "The
Magic Mounis as full of philosophyas it can
is page on
hold. There
of expositionof scientific matters
bryology.
physiology,em-

may
fall in the social

and
overt

page

"

There
of

matters

so

much

hundreds

discussion
of pages of overt
social. And
there is,not quite
political,
religious,

on

are

the

surface, a subtle and

philosophyof personal conduct.

The

central

theme

of the book,

it, is that sicklydisposition


to
and

retreat

into

found

to

The

be

will

feature

leadingcharacter

engineer from
career,

is a

Hamburg.

back

of

reality

on

speculation,or,
the author

must

wise
other-

have

of pre-war
certain Hans

Before

he will make

rightlyunderstand

one's

death, which

to

dominant

if I

turn

ivory tower

some

phrased,that

who

ing
involv-

elusive theme

mentality.
a young
(^astorp,
startingout on his professional

three weeks'

visit with

cousin

is

famous
at
a
taking a temporary cure
hospitalfor
consumptives at Davos Platz. So great is the power of suggestion,
that Hans
has
his
three
not
even
out
Castorp
stayed

weeks

before

he

down

comes

long he has been found


in his lungs.He
Stelleri)
stay

at

The

to

with

have

cold, and

bad

certain

before

rough spots (feuchte

is condemned

to

several months'

the sanatorium.

thing drags along, and

the

months

extend

selves
them-

years. He
gets the habit of this invalid life; he
loses touch with the world
down
below; he gets absorbed
to

in

the

endless

business

of

lectually
intel"balancing his accounts"
and spiritually;
and it comes
to pass that he loses
track entirely
of that time by which
ure
ordinarymortals meastheir experiences.
As a matter
of fact,he has been there

years at the outbreak


it is that wakens
him
from

of the World

seven

seven

in
sleepers

the

his

Magic

War.

long sleep.He

Mountain

roused

This
is
at

one

event

of the

last

by

the

Magic

the

thunder-stroke.
And

what

was

he

doing

all those

years

in

"THE

Mountain?

He

MAGIC

MOUNTAIN"

109

takingthe rest-cure on his airybalcony,


and wrapped up
comfortably installed in a reclining-chair
was

in excellent

blankets

himself

expert skill. He

with

which

he had

learned

to

wind

about

eatingfive heartymeals a
day at the well-providedtable, and recordinghis temperature
times a day. He was
his
for
love
seven
ried
a marnursing
lady with Asiatic eyes and cheek-bones, with ill-kept
and a beautiful skin, who had the habit of slamming
finger-nails
the glassdoor every time she came
into the diningwas

room.

above

But

all,he

was

helped by several
and
personalities
striking
swayed his mind.
he

was

In this
"balancinghis accounts."
three men
of
men
interesting
decided opinions,who alternately
"

firstof these is Lodovico

The

from
descendant

tuberculosis,
of

and
patriots

Settembrini,
Freemason,

rebels, a believer

an

Italian suffering

humanist,
in the

the

Reason

of an
eighteenth-centuryEnlightenment, member
''International
League for Organizing Progress."Another
is Herr
Naphta. He is by origin a Jew, a Catholic and
education.
and
believes in the
He
Jesuit by conversion
of

the

in our
of the proletariat
time
as the best means
dictatorship
souls. He
has a
for bringing about
the salvation of men's
great theoretical contempt for the body, and is inclined to
of the Inquisition
of torture
defend the methods
as a means
from tuberculosis.
of purifyingthe spirit.
He too is suffering
Herr
and,
Naphta is a subtle and persuasivereasoner,
like Herr
Settembrini, is fond of arguing and
making
termina
And
converts.
they often engage in passionateand inrefrains conscientiously
Mann
debates. Thomas
from
interveningin these combats, and the reader is left
to

infer for himself

of the

how

disputants.But

the balance
is very

cult of

far he agrees
in

one

matter

with
he

this

much

opposed to

and
suffering

death. He

what

to

seems

in favor of the Italian humanist.

Herr

he considers

is for life and

that

or

one

weight
brini
Settem-

Naphta's

action; and

THE

no

if he

TWENTIETH-CENTURY

NOVEL

consulted, Castorpwould

were

his idle,self-indulgent
ways.
illness is self-induced,and
to

return

the lower

to

Neither

He

long ago

that he

think

to

seems

would

have

do

given up
Castorp's

much

better

world.

Settembrini

Naphta, however, quite has the


of the riddle. In both of them
secret
there is lackingsomething
essential to a true philosophyof life.And
this,I take
it, is what the author undertook
to supply in the person
of Mynheer Peeperkorn.He is a Dutchman
from Java,who
has come
to Davos
badly attainted with tuberculosis and
alcoholism. He is an elderlyman
of great stature, with face
deeply and nobly lined and a beard to match. Every one
feels him
be a great, a royal personality.
to
instinctively
And
that in spiteof his want
of practical
prudence,and the
almost complete incoherence
of his speech.Jn the end he
commits
suicide, in order to make way for Castorp with the
he loves. Thus

woman

he puts an end to that Life of which


the prophet and devotee, and givesa demonstration,

he has been

perhaps of
Love

nor

which

The

he is

above

freightof

cowardice

and

morbidity,perhaps of

evidentlymeant

outline

will

serve

to

to

the

symbolize.

show

what

an

enormous

abstract

thought is carried by this novel. But


the beautiful thing is the high degree to which
the thought
is objectified
in the story. Not story in the sense
of incident
and intrigue,
for there is very little of these, infinitely
less
than

in Dostoevski, less

"Writ"."

than

even

in Zola's "Lourdes"

or

The

principalaction of the story is simply the


battle over
the soul of Hans
Castorp.But this is sufficient,
and the reason
Mann
has
why it is sufficient is that Thomas
such a prodigious,
exhaustless
such an
facultyfor giving
life to the creatures
of his imagination. He
is simply incapable
of

mouthpiece

inventinga
of

an

idea

"

character
as

we

may

who

shall be

say of Marie

the

mere

de

Guer-

IMAGINATION

CREATIVE

saint and

the Abb"

major

minor

has

or

his

not

Pierre. There

characters

he has

not

who
Magic Mountain"
and
unforgettable personality
them

imagined

the least detail

to

habitats, as

head

with

nurse,

is something
of

in favor

not

at

the

of

in

patientor
mingled suspicion,indignation,and
who

one

he

that

be

must

be such

Fraulein

So when

cold in

mere

he

has

place,if only by

her

way

and

is that?"

by

such
your

age. And

We

have

no

now

call

are

see

air of

same

superiorityon any
that air of suggesting
thinks

tuberculosis

to

conies

there

can

sanatorium.
Hans

see

puts him

soon

torp,
Casin his

of

sort

up
of

here

cousin

your

then?

come

of the

the

either

cold

questions.

you

speak

with

asking, "What

colds? Didn't

you
to

of

the attention

if he

cold, she

further

her

you often have


old
colds? How

"Do

"

Mylendonk

von

says

he

and

cold

of his mind

out

thing as

has

he

announces

in to

"caught cold." Catching cold


this sanatorium.
Nothing short

lungs is worth
doctor, and they all look

rough spot

ugly

he has

Castorp because

Hans

the

is called

sty, who

enormous

we

may
crispand

of speech.There
is the
say, their idiosyncrasies
of Fraulein
von
Mylendonk,
alarming manner
the

of the

singleone

dress, their several

and

in their looks

of "The

unmistakable

own

begin with,

To

is

in

also often

Twenty-four.
here

and

have

It goes

catch

with

cold
.

cold, honored

?
.

manchild;

of the

there
people down
dable,
von
unten)." She had a formi(das ist so ein Schnickschnack
of utteringthis word
Schnickschnack.
a frighteningway
ot laryngitis,
have
I agree to that;
beautiful case
the most
"You
the naked
clear
But
that
is perfectly
to
laryngitis
eye.
that

is

simply

some

nonsense

doesn't
one

is

before

come

trom

chill; it

and
susceptible;
us

benign

the

infection

comes

from

an

infection

to

which

only question is whether we have


or
a somewhat
malign one"everything

else is Schnickschnack.
leans more
your susceptibility
and looked
close with
at him

It
...

towards
her

is

possibleindeed that
the benign," she said,

ugly sty, he

knew

not

how.

DETAIL

OBJECTIVE
the details of the

There
history.

113

certain

are

of person

features

objectwhich are notable instances of the writer's


detail. Much
of givinghuman
to physical
significance
power
lously
has been made
by critics of Charles Bovary'shat so meticudescribed
by Flaubert as rendering objectivelythe
character of that school-boy.
Quite in a class with this are
the descriptions
of Frau Chauchat
as seen
by Hans Castorp
Freudian
lecture. As it chanced, he
during Dr. Krokowski's
behind
her. She "sat slouchingand hunched
sat directly
up;
her back was
she
shoulders
let
her
round,
slump forward;
and

and

than

more

that, her head

her vertebras stuck


As

the lecture

hand

and

It

arm

look

must

one

it in

the neck

have

defects,
there

glass.No,

not

or

if

as

perfectlyclean,

and

close, there could

be

mouth,

wry

hand,

and

about

what

which

an

opposed
was

head, and

which

thinner

was

that

so

would

the

and

too,

so

there

Hans

far

as

could

Castorp went

Chauchat's

arm.

bent

arm

How

was

on

at

the

off
were

gnawed

was

Castorp made
Chauchat's

through

his head

bourgeois resistances
of love.
round

More
.

behind

her

the stuff of her sleeves

the

lightestgauze it was,
and
misty luminosity,

certain

if it had

time

same

knuckles

Madame

working

less attractive

been

covering.It

cool

the

that of the blouse"

clearlyhave

without

to

therebytook

arm

said of the

had

scarcelyclothed, for

was

than

to

half-thought went

this soft

arm,

nails

that. Hans

about

study

under

magnifying
aristocratic about

her

the

her

eyes-

to, and

cut
finger-nails

whether

stayedriveted

themselves

the

the

around

doubt

Krokowski

Dr.

with

sure

skin

the

but his eyes


indefinite

beautiful

be

even

no

them

certainlynothing

was

not

had

by

one's

to

wanted

one

one

it, this pudgy schoolgirl's


hand,
could

close

so

that

so

blouse."

of her white

hand

that

it whether

at

all its human

anyhow"one

forward,

Castorp is greatlydistracted
goes on
her back hair.
as she fusses with

oppressiveto

was

above

out

shoved

was

tender

been

and

entirely
plump"

that arm
cerned,
conwas
judge.Where
sistances.
certainlybe no question of bourgeois recould

one

on

dreaming,

women

with

dressed!

his gaze fixed

on

Frau

They displayedthis

and

that part of neck

and

to

liberateness
their way
understood
about

It

that

did

all

was

made

women

the world,

over

above-board

that

it

was,

and

hardly

you

but

life

that

de-

desirable

themselves

deliberate

with

arms

God,
passionatedesire. Good
beautiful
preciselybecause of

dressing"for
and

they

which

with

of

our

arouse

beautiful.

was

they brightenedtheir

bosom,
And

transparent gauze
in order

NOVEL

TWENTIETH-CENTURY

THE

ii4

so
even

by
generally
thought

pleaseyou unconsciously and without any


fuss. But one
self,
ought to think about it,said Hans Castorp to himin order rightlyto enjoy life and realise that it was
a blessed
and at bottom
almost fairy-like
contrivance.
To be sure, it was
for a definite purpose
that women
might dress in such a fairylike and blessed way, without
it was
a quesviolatingpropriety;
tion
of the next
generation,of the reproductionof the race of
it,and

Oh

men.

that she

let it

yes!But

capableof

not

was

if the

what

lady had

motherhood"what

in wearing sleeves
any sense
bodies" their diseased bodies?

and

ought

The

to

be considered

minute

most

in Mann

with

the

stopping on
him

superiorto

counterpart,
any one
moir."
the
of

our

Mr.

in my
I

"

not

Dreiser

"

admiration

scene

or

character, and

be forbidden

things.In
to speak
and

that

no

by

are

we

sense,

law.

never

this respect I find


of Zola's American
without

yielding to

performances like

of that

there

is consistent

that

assurance

for

speaking now
objectivedetail is made
am

and

Was

so

\lesirous of their

men

documentation

confident
of

then?

obviously made

That

material

Zola

make

to

indecent

surface

organic disease,

some

"L'Assom-

which

infallibly
the individual
to render
quality
translates itself directly
into what
art

by

values. It is in this art that Thomas


spiritual
Mann
is such an unusual
figure.
is a writer, for one
He
thing,who takes his time. The
example of his use of the
passage I have just cited is an
we

may

call

The
"close-up."
that

too

much

was

classic French
made

of Frau

naturalist would
Chauchat's

hand

consider
and

arm,

PERSONALITY

HUMANE

115

speak for themselves in


their own
hard, sharp, objectivemanner.
But, then, it
naturalist to handle
would
French
to
a
a
scarcelyoccur
of Hans
subjectso simple, shy, and elusive as the mind
and
of Frau
Chauchat
arm
typical
Castorp. The hand
and Occidental
of everythingat variance with his German
notions of a civilized and orderlylife,and yet so strangely
these physicaldetails are
fascinatingto him
part and
parcel of Castorp'smoral problem and the "balancing of
in which
the
Platz. And
he is occupied at Davos
accounts"
in their descriptionis made
to
correspond to that
tempo
of his spiritual
process.
that

they should

have

been

left

to

"

"

Mann

is one

his time

and

That

of those

objectivedetail
is

He

is

beneath

he reveals

much

is almost
are

as

and

Once

if he did

sets

them

like persons,
All this means

on

spiteof

they
But

he could

and

details.
"

nation.
subjectivediscrimiof

much

he is so

writer

of

mass

himself.

all stand

he

their feet

take

because

ing
that animatappearance
human
being something

of each

this in

to

directions

two

humane

and

differentiated

in

in that of

external

representative
types
scheme.
philosophical
he

apparently small

scientist,and

"

his

act

than

more

of

profound

every
makes

which

essence

of

much

so

philosopher.He

so

much

afford

can

he is so substantial, and

is because

in that of

make

to

writers who

rare

cannot
as

not

protoplasm.It
His

for

something

leave

persons,
stop them

characters

them

there.

they begin
if he

in

to

would.

imagination in a high degree.


And
it means
something more, and something perhaps even
in the last analysisis the
What
it comes
down
to
rarer.
of the man.
This
writer
has
extraordinaryhumaneness
wisdom
and ripenessof understanding far beyond those of
that brings me
successful novelist. And
the average
to his
which
is the intimate language of his wisdom.
personalstyle,
Perhaps the outstandingfeature of his styleis its simplicity.
has

none

of the

most

He
much

creative

of

the

smartness

that

interesting
contemporary

characterizes

so

fiction in the

Englishlanguage.He

to

seems

have

in his power

confidence

more

NOVEL

TWENTIETH-CENTURY

THE

n6

more

to

ject,
faith in his sub-

out
get his effects with-

strainingat cleverness. He takes his


them.
characters seriously.
It is true that he sees all round
But
he also sees
they
deeply enough into them to know
facetiousness

Babbitts,

than

more

are

or

more

than

musical

motifs

in

counterpoint.
philosophical
which
He has that supersophistication
brings the wisest
is
back
the conception of value. Thomas
Mann
to
men
conscious
of those
perhaps in our day the novelist most
mathematicians
which
and physicists
essences
our
spiritual
and materialistic
are
laboringto bring back to a mechanical
well as any one
what
frail wisps and
world. He knows
as
the shoreless tides of destiny.
But he thinks
are
on
motes
we
is "humanist"
less of us for that. He
no
enough to realize
that values
all there is
Hans

ideal entities,and

are

to

furnish

Castorphe

bewildered
of

German

means

intellectual
course.

The

that the human

mind

is

values.
gage of human
for a type of the ordinaryserious,
dilettante
German

of the pre-war period.A


author
is fullyconscious

mentality of his hero, and goes to some


qualityinto relief. None but
lengthsto bring his German
could have been so grave and thorough in his researches,
a German
so
easilyimpressed with learning,and so invetThere
is nothing extraordinary
about
eratelymetaphysical.
He means
him except his seriousness and tenacity.
infinitely
loses touch
well and goes far astray. He
with realityand
with humanity. But his heart is sound, and the author brings
him
back in the end to those contacts
through which he
amusing character, and more
may be fulfilled. He is a most
likable than he is amusing. It is with a mild, enveloping,
and ever
discreet humor
that the author
folds
uninsinuating,
his somewhat
patheticstory.
If there is one
other
beautifully"done" than anthing more
in the book, it is those earlier chaptersin which
he
of the

shows

Teutonic

him

into
falling

the trap of invalidism

and

the

sana-

MANtf

PHILOSOPHY:

torium

mentality;

polite
the

insinuations

nosebleed

taking
of

spell
in

of

real

pleasure

those

material

render

to

back

the

the

to

enormous

the

of
of

Mann

terms

of
for

of

that

our

fiction

if

"dramatizing"

story.

in

the
of

Castorp's

of

hands

is

writer

it, for

has

can

the

rendering

is

It

master

it

And

man.

philosophy
the

longer

no

can

his

and

cigars

Mancini.

which

discussion,

discursive

he

Maria

favorite

idiosyncrasy

very

moral

form

his

details

amount

in

proper

of

power

Hans
of

that

fact

the

over

in

than

subject

the

on

reflections

Thomas

his

of

loss

the

was

all

that

intimation

delicious

more

connoisseurship

bewildered

an

be

could

eloquent

us

him

up

tobacco.

Nothing

serve

with

wrapped

hours,

serious

the

under

falling

peaceful
first

walk;

mountain

his

and

balcony

by

alarmed

nurses;

in

him

and
The

well

going

enjoying

one

his

on

blankets.

and

the

under

nervous

more

doctors

upon

reclining-chairs

not

take

the

comes

rest-cure

woolen

was

of

that

the

hourly

growing

ii?

brings
what

this:
be

veyed
con-

genius
it

in

of
the

TWO:

PART

When

(as
no

pains

such

if

whole

of

afraid

on

periods

matters

to

of

time

"HENRY

the

it

in

chasm
of

shall

we

notice,

history:

our

FIELDING:

Tom

our

without

we

but

and

consequence,

totally

to

pass

his

spare

large

at

should

worthy

itself

presents

case),

open

years

anything

producing

hasten

to

IDEAL

scene

be

paper

nor

but

be

often

will

trust

reader;

not

extraordinary

any

we

DRAMATIC

THE

shall
shall
leave

ved.

unobsei

"The

Jones,

History
a

Foundling"

of

XII

TOWARD

there

has

been
with

perhaps
novel,

and

I call

the

it is this

well-made

its neatness

be

the

novel,

the

great

novel.

made

the

"

of the

Many

"well-made"

with

and

has

technique

decadent

that

been

the

upon

need

not

well-dressed
be

deserve

of weak

out

turn

best

what

to

novel

great novel

that

products

it may

the

the

novels

the

are

flimsy brains;

need

nor

man;

than

more

any

the

to

prides itself

well-made

The

began

It

rise

gave

that

novel

1885,

spread

soon

which

movement

novel

it

but

story,

of construction.

great

be

need

short

the

form.

with

growing preoccupation

about

fiction, particularly since

of

writing

THE

NOVEL

WELL-MADE

THE

man

well-

the

tive
adjec-

the

imaginations

extreme

or

tion
preoccupaof

accompaniment

be
emphasis on form
may
theless
exaggerated, with a corresponding loss in vitality.Neverthe considerations
which
have
produced the wellmade

novel
with

is

in

tendency

artistic

real

are

form

will
to

occupy

of decadence,

nor

is it

in

as

far

so

and

Romance
the

to

realist

he

is the

by

his

love

that
or

even

is

in

detail

may

The
telling.

art,

provided

of

and

exclusive.

both

novel,

give

fiction; and

he

to

serious
may

so

neither

ideal.

that

picture
be

cept
ex-

tions
contribu-

though

bound

it

cause

decadence,

their

made

the

not

symptom

necessarily
to

tion
preoccupa-

field. It is

well-made

the

is concerned

of
he

of

have

good

to

whole

exaggerated

realist

scientist

tend

the

even

realism

ideal

nor

romancer

The

it is

the

the

considerations;

certainly

allowed

not

The

art.

of

life;

dominated

bies,
disposition to ride his hobhis story shapely
largely neglect to make
in mysteries,
lose himself
romancer
may
or

by

the

THE

122

NOVEL

TWENTIETH-CENTURY

excitingadventure, in the complicationsof plot,and


of itself and the situations to
leave the design to take care
force.
inherent
themselves
make
interesting
by their own
But when
the romancer
beginsto consider nicelythe means
by which he can produce illusion,maintain suspense, and
ity
level of curioslead the reader on by due degreesfrom one
probable
imhe begins to ask himself how
an
to another; when
to seem
as real as everyday life,
story can be made
novel. And
he has started in the path of the well-made
in

when

the realist is concerned


of details

than

more

for the choice

and

evance
rel-

assembling of them;
ject
his story in the lightof a subto his material
significance

for the

mere

begins to consider
which
givespattern and
novel.
then he is moving in the direction of the well-made
The
nineteenth-centuryrealist,under the, influence of
wish to give a full and
his scientific ideal, may
hensive
compreComedie
his
view of human
l
ike
in
Balzac
society,
of evidence
amount
to bring the greatest possible
Humaine,
or
establish some
social theory, like Zola
in his
to
Rougon-Macquart series. But it is equallya scientific ideal
when

he

"

which
to

leads him, in any

one

give a thorough study to

It is here

book,
the

that the scientific and

to

limit his

matter

so

as

particularsubjecttreated.
esthetic ideals

are

identical,

precisionof outline)
making for unity,simplicity,
Among the theorists of realism, the one who has probably
of how
the realistic ideal affects
given the best account
in a novel, is Guy de
the organizationof matter
preface to "Pierre et Jean*'
Maupassant, in his famous
(1887).He is reallygrounding his apology for the realists
in fundamental
or
principlesof art in general. Seldom
in a discussion
of the novel, had any English critic
never,
which
so
brought this bourgeois form of
employed terms
writinginto relation to other forms of art.

both

Life

[he says,

scale; it crowds

for

example] leaves everythingon the same


facts togetheror drags them
out
indefinitely.

GUY

123

ing
precautionsand makin contriving
tions,
artful and imperceptibletransipreparations,
in bringing the essential events
into full light,by simple
ingenuityof composition,and giving to all others the degree
of relief suited to their importance,so as to produce a profound
of the specialtruth which
wishes to exhibit.
sense
one

Art,

the

MAUPASSANT

DE

on

contrary, consists in using

Maupassant insists that the principlesof selection


and arrangement
apply to the realistic novel as well as to
of art. But he has also a good deal to say
any other form
of the features which
distinguishthe serious, the realistic
has no other objectthan
work
from ordinary fiction,which
to help pass the time
agreeably.For example:
Thus

to give us
exact
an
representation
professes
of life ought to avoid with care
any linkingtogether of events
His aim
tell a story,
is not
which
to
might appear exceptional.

The

to

novelist

entertain

us

understand
of

way

as
or

to

who

touch

or

the

deep and

the interest

keep up

at

certain

to

to

force

and

think

to

us

of events.
significance
and
unfolding it

hidden
adventure

contriving an

characters

hearts, but

our

stead
In...

in such

ter
the end, he will take his charac-

period of

lives and

their

conduct

transitions, to the following period.In

them, by natural

be, how character


us, it may
way he will show
altered by surrounding circumstances; it may

is influenced

be, how

this
and

the sentiments

and

passions develop,how people love, how


they hate,
what strugglesare going on in all social conditions
artfulness of his plan is not to be found, then, in emoThe
tional
attractive beginning
effects or charm
of writing,in an
but in the skilful massing of little
or
a
moving catastrophe,
.

insistent

details

meaning

of his work.
of

ten

years

the

beings who

which

surround

little

intention,
those

which

and

which

giveto

to

must

to

hundred

its

how

to

know

in

in

such

he

the

high relief,in

not
a

of all

tic
characteris-

eliminate,
do

compasses

midst

specialand

as

essential

the

out

pages

what,

show

it,has been

daily events,
show

bring

to

serve

If in three

life,in order

he
significance,
innumerable

will

out

of the

subserve

specialway,

his
all

by less acute observers, and


pass unnoticed
the book its importanceand its effect as a whole.

might

It is easy to
from
the

who

method

old, obvious

the

writes

all the fine,secret, almost

natural
perfectly

of

Moore

which

in Walter

had

(1886)
"

Pater

at

admiring reader. Meantime,

writers

esthetic view

of what

and

of

superiorform

novelist

The
much

device

novelist

as

the reader.

is Dickens.

No

pure

one

the

in all these

realist,to

it does

study
and

the attention,

ii\mind that

not

to

occur

to

take

they regard as simply a

is concerned

as

The
has

ever

sentimental
elements

and

sentimental

the

is

concern

but

strike the

in this

masters

that of the

not

that

of

the

imagination,to

teller
storyhold

plot is conceived of not as


of events
acter
a representative
throwing lighton charsequence
and guided by the logicof cause
and effect in human
conduct, though all due attention is given to making things
The
reasonablyplausible.
plot is a tissue of mysteriesand
to

entertain.

The

fication
grati-

brought togetherin one


plot,character, and setting,
interest of the love-story.

understand,

simple,to

chieflyto provide
is pledged to every

greatest of all

of the interest of

much

togetherwith
And

bear

and
possible,
and
surprise,
procuringvariety,

to

and
distinguished

amusement.

entertainment
for

so

to

one

must

we

most

readers
severe

least

sions
"Confes-

neglected book

much

like any
artistic

same

English his

in

wrote

plein
it came

form

of the

out

"Fort

en

when

art

an

as

and
spirit,

Man"

Young

the novel

same

background, George

story

singlelarger

write

would

one

Renoir, Cezanne,

treat

to

the

other. In much'

art

the

(1883) and

Vie"

"Une

(1889). So

Paris, in the age of Manet,

as

critics,

invisible threads

placeof

artists in

of

author

Mort"

la

Comme

this

baffles the

ferent
dif-

called the Plot.

So

most

composition,so

of

procedure, often

certain modern

employed by
thread

that such

see

discern

cannot

NOVEL

TWENTIETH-CENTURY

THE

124

CHARLES

DICKENS

1*5

in which the largest


number
of percomplications,
possible
sons
are
implicated.
The
plot of "Bleak House"
(1852-53),concerning the
of Esther Summerson
and Lady Dedlock, and
relationship
the identityof the copying-clerk
who died in Mr. Krook's
raveled
shop which
rag-and-bottle
might well have been unmum
by the lawyer, Mr. Tulkinghorn, with a minicharacters
is most
of minor
use
ingeniouslyhandled
after group of persons, who serve
to
so as to bring in group
of
of mystery and the delicious sense
heighten the sense
complication.There is Mr. Guppy of Kerige and Carboy,
who
observes
the strikingresemblance
of Lady Dedlock
in her portrait
who
Summerson,
to Esther
plans to marry
Esther on guessingof her high connections, who
bringsin
old Krook
and try to get poshis friend Jobling to watch
session
of the lost letters,and is brought into connection
with
Tulkinghorn, with the Smallweeds, with Jo the
is Jo the crossing-sweeper,
who
etc. There
crossing-sweeper,
guided the veiled lady to the burying-ground of the dead
clerk, who brings in the brickmakers'
wives, the Snagsbys,
Mr.
and
the Chadbands,
George of the shooting-gallery,
several other groups, as well as connectingup with Esther
and her guardian.
little worlds
of people like
There
are
a
score
or
more
wheels in a watch, each one
less with
more
or
interlocking
"

"

every

of a romantic
is of the very essence
the fact of these varied and surprising
relations

other

plot,and

This

one.

peopleapparentlyso alien to one another


strong appeal to the imagination.Turning

makes

of

under
What

his tongue,
connexion
the

whereabouts
distant

step?

ray

What

people in

house

the author
can

in

of

of

the

Jo the outlaw
lightupon him

connexion

can

the innumerable

own

the rich morsel

says:

there be between

town,

its

Mercury
with
when

there

the

place in

shire,
Lincoln-

in

powder,

and

the

had

that

the broom,
he

have

who

swept the churchyardbeen

between

many
histories of this world, who, from

NOVEL

TWENTIETH-CENTURY

THE

126

ously
very curi-

have, nevertheless, been


oppositesides of great gulfs,
brought together!

of the

clearingup
another.

in

mysteriesis one
should

and

in his

as

her

The
separately.

thing.The

love-storyis
be fond

should

we

undisturbed

our

The

emotions.

Smollett, the

master

of the reader.

taste

listed

maintain

rightnessof

the

is,in Dickens,
the

I have

all that is requiredis that

Here

of the heroine,

to

interest

sentimental

The

fidence
con-

love-story

merest

tribute

story of the chancery wards

The

of characters
bringing in a largenumber
that are
count.
acpicturesqueand amusing on their own
They are plausiblyenough brought in, but they
and once
real function
have no
to serve,
they appear on
of the stage.
the scene
they proceed to occupy the center
of perThey are not drawn to scale; there is no principle
spective
is

the

mainly

of

means

the aim

is

to

fill up

all the available

space.
eccentric
than
the
and
is
the
last;
reader,
more
type
while he cannot
deny that people as droll as these may be
that so many
droll people never
with any day, knows
met
Each

experience.The items may


any one's normal
be taken from
life,but life is not made
up of any such
assemblage of items. And, above all, the droll and jolly
within

came

largein the perspectiveof anybody's


life. This is,togetherwith the sheer genius of Dickens
as a
ment
draftsman, the reason
why his books are such a refreshlose ourselves as delightthe tired mind, why we
to
fully
do

items

bulk

not

in them

as

will say, why do you leave


of Dickens?
Did he not
purpose

the serious
abuses?

system, the

And

are

out

set

of

account

out

to

rect
cor-

Dotheboys Hall, the poorhouse


of Chancery, subjectsfor the
Court

not

the
prisons,

the realist?

Well, I have
influence

are

one

some

study of

of travels among
cannibals
and
for grown-up
children.
fairy-stories

in records

coral isles. They

But,

so

no

doubt

public opinion

that Dickens
in

regard to

was

glad enough

certain

to

social sores;

CHARLES

DICKENS

127

and

certainlythe showing up of these abuses must


that they were
given him and his reader the sense
with
the
people combining artistic gratification
of the

world, and

It is also true,
Dickens
as

with
of

of

their

"Bleak

the

Miss

and

House,"

make

free

drunken

her

of

that

the

her

the

plot

for artistic effect.

itself. This

of truth

"Lord

of Dickens, and

that inner

or

tends
in-

she

which

is

disease

death

and

for the grotesque poetry and


of which
Dickens
is such a master.

the aim

little

Crazy

finallygiven; old
dies, again
Chancellor," who
combustion; the dark places,

judgment

obviously the grotesque poetry


are

personal

complicated

the

to

fine themes

are

chiaroscuro

that

dramatis

the

given

of spontaneous
symbolically,
the fog,the mud, Tom-all-Alone's,
these

caged symbolic birds,

when

Krook,

up

has

so

to

at

entity
half-mythological
revolve the myriad planets

which

satellites that

Flite, with

the

ment
better-

this sinister and


around

sun

of

case

serious

puppet show.
Chancery Court, that

children

mere

design other than


certainlya device making

story
is

has used

sort

in

not

have

and
not

coherence

all

"

theatrical
it is

But

chiaroscuro

theatrical

either that semblance

of truth

which

name

we

realism.
The

great

principleof composition with

of alternation.
merson's
to

those

story

is

Bleak

House

"Bleak

giving place,every
And

within

change

constant

varyingcolor
at

in

parts of the action

of Esther.
there

have

We

and

two

or

Esther
three

Sum-

chapters,

edge
outside the knowlthat go on
each of these main
movements,
of

scene

and

world, with

ever

pass from the life of the cousins


the fantastic manage of the Jellybysor

tone.
to

House"

is that

Dickens

We

ness
glooms and madof the rag-and-bottle
shop, and back to pleasantBleak
and
childish
House,
Skimpole, and thence to the pious
the Snagsbys, or
of Mr.
ministrations
Chadband
the
at
Each
picturesque interior of George's shooting-gallery.
of characters,and each peculiar
back
comes
setting,
group
the

Turveydrops, and

then

to

the sinister

GEORGE

ELIOT

129

emphasis. And, generallyspeaking,his


ber
numnot
requireanything like the enormous
is
whose
of people presented by Dickens,
motto
"Plenty."
and

proper

space
subjectdoes

3
Eliot

George

was

very serious realist in her intention;


and
Holt"
for ex"Middlemarch,"
ample,

while, in "Felix

and

for mysto the Victorian


taste
yieldssomewhat
teries
in the background, this element
is considerablyreduced
and
in those books,
in amount
importance, even
she

while

in

"Adam

and

Bede"

plotdepends on no such
The
plotin those best of
in "Middlemarch"

of the reactions

out

largelyof

are

too,

is not,

their
as

next?

happen

circumstance?

what

or

but

"

artificial and
her

how

mechanical

novels, and

of the characters

is in

is the
shall

altogether

consists of
to

questionfor
of this
the

meet

is

ing
work-

situations

Dickens, what

the

devices.

almost

meaning
we

Floss"

the

on

for that matter,

often

so

Mill

creation. The

own

it

"The

which

the characters

going

to

mysterious

challengeof

this

situation?
So that

which

is

feels

one
so

stronglyin

largea part

of the

her books

that moral

experienceof

tious
any conscienof fiction does so much

in a work
person, and which
The
give us the impression of reality.

to

serious

attempt

characteristic

to

show

strength and

how

weakness

"

true

that the second-line

brings out

characters

the
And

person.
carry the

major

Brookes

and

in Dickens,

the

Wellers.
in

creations, and Mrs.


very delightful
make
Garth, old Tulliver, and the Dodsons

are

makes

of each

most

It is

author

this tension

characters are those which


striking
and
Dorothea
roles, the Maggie Tullivers
Adam
Bedes and
not, as
Philip Wakems
SaireyGamps, the Pecksniffs, the Sammie
the

tension

often

George

Eliot

Poyser, Caleb
a

considerable

showing in her landscape.But these figureshave


important function to play in the study of character

very
which

is the aim
of

of

element

"

fathers, the

and

aunts

interest which

common

uncles, who
the

the novels

placein

considerable

at

opening parts of the story, they do not


and
those regular appearances
to hold

their

return

forward

to

all

have

than
the

along

who

that

same

is well

action

Dickens

in

characters

count
ac-

woman

George Eliot. And


while
they are developed

the main

into

minder
re-

in the social scheme


he does occupy
it is to be specially
observed
that,

than

of

stage when

perpetual

be taken

must

are

seeking his own


good.
occupiesan appreciablylarger

the young
or
man
of these characters

by
None

ture
struc-

stant
family,which is so conproblem of the major characters

a
steadying influence,
responsibility,

of

the solid

They represent

first of all the

in the

and

the mothers

Eliot.

George

and
society,

an

NOVEL

TWENTIETH-CENTURY

THE

i3o

have

continue
the

under

droll antics and

indulged.And

so

them

remarks
have

we

more

in

the

make

to

of the

center

way,

nothing

alreadyknow

we

length

like many
to

justify

well and

look

in which

they

much

more

the

impressionin George Eliot of an action and a world of


people limited by the subjectchosen, with each detail given
in relation to the
to its significance
a stress
proportionate
subject.
of the French
This is much
more
realists,
strikingin some
owed
who
no
allegianceto the English ideals of plot and
clined
inhumor, and who, by long national traditions,were
more
in any work
of theme
of art. Thus
to simplification
''Madame
in Flaubert's
Bovary" (1857),there is a still
in

greater reduction
of such
no

secondary

with

the main

The

of

characters, and

presented in

are

of characters

groups
one.

number

The

theme

any
with

is the

detail. There

pecially
esare

plotsinterlocking
tragiclove-life of a

has grown
dreams
up on a diet of sentimental
of relation to the actualities and obligations
of life.
who

woman

all

as

the

out

center

attempt

to

which

of interest is Emma
find in love-affairs

she does

not

Bovary, and her desperate


that life of passionand sentiment

know

how

to

find in her

own

FLAUBERT

GUSTAVE

131

with her
of the story then is concerned
The
love-affairs with Rodolphe and Leon.
only other sons
perher
in
the
who
are
given any prominence
story are

home.

bulk

The

farm-house

father, in whose
alien, her

imagination

world; Monsieur

dream

of

and

husband;

girl dwells

young

as

an

occupied with her factitious


and unHomais, the enterprising
scrupulous
all

apothecary,who
provinciallife and

Emma's

the

for the chief tive


representafoil for the simple virtues of

serves
a

the husband

himself, Charles

Bovary,

the country doctor, who


has not the remotest
notion of the
in which
his wife's soul moves,
romantic
world
who
goes
his business
who
does his best to
about
conscientiously,
with comforts
and luxuries
provide his dearlyloved Emma
do nothing that will
her happy, but who
and to make
can
pleaseher.
The
story begins with Charles Bovary, and it ends with
the misery and
ruin caused
him; for we
to be shown
are
and
the tragicdevotion
of
by her selfish sentimentalism
lives in the
who
person
this is merely the framework
of die

real love
But

in

itself is the

portraitof

of her romantic

the sentimental

infatuation, and

which

drive her

world

of realities.

picture;the picture
The

woman.

the resultant

story

financial

tanglements
en-

and suicide,
despair,
with a steadyand terrible movement
never
moves
equaled
would
in English fiction of that day, which
not
give itself
logicof its theme.
up to the simple and tragical

Closely associated

giantsof
de

French

Goncourt

"

in Paris with

naturalism
was

the

American

James.What

James

Russian,

Turgenev.

in

and
and
His

of
simplification
was
greatlyadmired

writers, among
admired

Flaubert

Zola, Daudet,

"

examples of the
many
by the realist ideal, and
and

shame,

to

them

Turgenev

was

the

Edmond
work

nishes
fur-

form

duced
pro-

by English

Howells
his

other

and

emphasis

character

on

work,

his

James

wrote

that

was

of certain
him

was

such

first form

persons. The

figureof

the

as

he

people

do

must

wished

of his

affair of

plotrepresentation
tale appeared to

the
a
or

in action,

see

combination

story all lay in the

question,What

that

interesting.
to

proceed;

them

I make

shall

of

being sure

very specialand
able
in his hand
he was

action.

to

something

this material

With

planning

an

in which

to

who

character

individual,

one

of characters

the

of proceeding from
way
in 1884:

individuals, whom

the

in

of a story with him


was
never
germ
the last thing he thought of; it was

The

choice

plot,his

than

rather

"morally interesting,"and,

were

NOVEL

TWENTIETH-CENTURA

THE

i32

do?

what
take into account
Perhaps James did not sufficiently
lay back of Turgenev's choice of characters and may be
erally
said to have preceded it in the evolution
of his work. Gensocial
broad
a
speaking,in his best novels, it was
theme
the charaters were
to which
pertinent,and it is this
which
gives form to his work. For example, in "Fathers

and

Sons"

(1862),the general theme

the

temper

Russians.

and
the

On

hand

one

well-meaning,but
considerations.

of

outlook

On

hand

of intellectuals,hard-boiled
toward
taken

by

the

in

is said

romantic

term

of modern

socialism.
readers
movement

light of

recent

prophetic,and

have

"nihilist"

novel, the
Russian

to

were

Until
not

which

held

been

he

the

brought

first
to

and

titude
at-

be

to

dominated

in their interpretation

to

use,

in

this

these

precursors
it to their attention,

tremendously significa

gettingunder

history,"Fathers
is perhaps the most

in their

precious,not

of the

aware

risinggeneration

ideals, and

in reference

was

sentimental

ruthless

notions of physicalscience
positivist
of social problems.

Turgenev

liberal and

men,

the

was

and

all that their elders

by phrases and

generationsof

by genteeland

other

the

the older

were

between

contrast

successive

two

dominated

is

Sons"

way. In the
is positively

of
significant

Russian

IVAN

novels

in

point of broad
sympathies were

his

much

Turgenev
a

fastidious

most

TURGENEV

side of form

on
a

book

is

as

however

lectuals,
intelthe side of the young
propagandistwriter. He was

realist;and

artist,a conscientious

the

But,

social reference.

not

was

133

remarkable

the

side of

the

on

as

on

thought.
departure from the vivid impression made
him
he knew.
doctor whom
on
by a real person, a provincial
This
the model
for his Bazarov.
His problem was
to
was
took

He

arrange

his

story in which

this central

character

should

be

of the romantic
brought into oppositionto representatives
generation.And this he does very simply.He makes him a
man
returninghome from his scientific and medical
young
friend and
and
he
studies, with a still younger
disciple,
follows these two
mer
persons through a few weeks of their sumvacation.

first visit the home

They
There

make

we

Nikolai

of the younger
man,
Arkady.
acquaintance of Arkady's father,

the

Petrovich,

liberal landowner,

his peasants, but


inefficient manager,
and
best

and

heart, and
maintain

of his world.
hurt

the
and

men,

sentimental

has retired

to

continues

who

and

rudeness

which
to

and

has done

the country to nurse


there to dress like

Petrovich.
to

challengeBazarov
which

chivalrous

intransigenceof

in

puts

an

end

an

vich,
Petro-

But

provoke

notions
Bazarov

the sensibilities of the

comes

his

potterer,

the father's brother, Pavel

feelingsand offend
of Pavel
especially

wounded,

is

the aristocratic and

The

personalemotion
leadinghim
is

who

societyman,

broken

dandy

he

who

by

who

it is
Pavel

older
more

to

tion,
ac-

duel, in which

to

to

Bazarov's

stay

at

Maryino.
and

Arkady have been ing


stayof
time
for some
at the country
place an attractive and
wealthy widow, and it is here that Bazarov's nihilist principles
test. In spiteof all his theoretical
are
put to a severe
In

hatred

the

meantime,

of romantic

Bazarov

sentiment, he himself

becomes

the vie-

he

of love. Both

tim

NOVEL

TWENTIETH-CENTURY

THE

i34

hostess, Anna

Sergyevna;

but

with

fall in love

Arkady

and

Arkady's

their

is the

love

terminate
inde-

givesway before a
youth and soon
sister
real, though gentle,passionfor Anna's
younger
of

sentiment

more

Katya.
the conclusion

Before
have

visit

paid a

to

episodes,the

of these

men
young
father is of

parents. Bazarov's

Bazarov's

standingthan Arkady's,a retired army surgeon


is an
old-fashioned
now
engaged in farming. His mother
in the cares
of housekeeping,extremely
absorbed
woman,
conceivable
to every
superstitious
religiousand given over
and
belief. They are both inordinatelyproud of their son
social

lower

inclined

to

of

manifestation

with

affection. But

finds
feeling,

terriblybored at
people by leavingthem

and

the old
Later

him

smother

on

is

he

back

comes

to

he hates

his

every
lous,
ridicu-

parents fussyand
home; and he deeply grieves
after

stay of several days.

them, and

his
gratifies

father

by

fected
charitypracticeof medicine. He is intion.
dissecwith typhus while conducting a post-mortem
of
find a means
In this backwoods
place he cannot
he dies in the flower of his
his cut in time. And
sterilizing
youth and promise.
the characterization
I cannot
take time
Of
to
speak,
though it is one of the main artistic merits of this book.
for honesty,and for economy
of means
For humanness,
by
in his

helping him

the effect is secured, the character

which

of the greatest
of the
account
way
the
and

in which

triumphs of
plot in order
he and

generalsubjectof
naturalness

minimum

any work
each one

of
so

this compass

to

bring out

the book;

by

intrigue,without

without
barest

fiction. I have

all the other

of the action

of Bazarov

of elaboration.

given a
two

characters

and

the

which

one

detailed

features:
are

related

the
to

simplicity
tized,
subjectis drama-

extreme

the

melodrama,
I

is

and

with

the

acquainted with
fiction in which
and
types of so wide a variety,
are
significant,
brought togetherin a story of
for the

illustration

not

am

of

social theme.

In

the

MOORE

GEORGE

simplerecord

of

the elements

Other

few

realist ideal

weeks

summer

of the Russian

examples

of the

simplification
produced by
of the Goncourts,

(1865)and

Gervaisais"

Here,

indeed, the studious

severe

and

determined

that

all

concentrated

are

revolution.

the novels

are

135

as

dame
"Ma-

Lacerteux"

"Germinie
confinement
readers

most

such

the

can

(1869).
of subject is so
hardlybreathe

the
atmosphere or is it perhaps not so much
of the subjectthat oppresses
confinement
the simple
us
as
of animation
and largeness
of soul of the authors?
want
in such

Much
reader

an

the average
taste of the serious cultivated
is the treatment
of similar themes
by George Moore.

(1894)reminds

Waters"
in

having for its theme


it is equallyserious

and
girl,
her

to

more

"Esther

writer

"

has chosen

pathos

but

is such

by

heroine
the

one

of "Germinie

difficult life of

the

in its realism;

who

will

strengthof

only

servant-

English
merely by

the

appeal not
her

teux"
Lacer-

character.

Esther

fight
sturdy,obstinate soul, with so much
in her; she is so well-meaning and religious,
devoted
to
so
is her
her child and so loyal to her husband; so beautiful
relation to the sufferinglady who
shares her faith of the

Waters

Plymouth

Brethren

the hardness
reader

of life as

by a sense
"Evelyn Innes"

instinct: that
her strong maternal
she experiencesit is mitigatedfor the

and

of the essential fineness of human

nature.

(1898)reminds one similarlyof "Madame


conversion.
in its theme
Gervaisais"
of religious
But it is
what
of
Evelyn givesup for religion love and the career
interest to the
which
artist
lends its high dramatic
an
English novel.
In both cases,
well as in "Sister Teresa"
as
(1901),the
for technique
sequel to "Evelyn Innes," the important matter
is the centeringof interest in the one
whose
woman
typicalexperienceis the subjectof the study,with the con"

"

GEORGE

MOORE

137

than the typicalVictorian


minds, less livelyand diverting,
and feelings,
novel, but it takes deeper hold on the mind

givesmuch

and
a

work

of

The

same

problem
needs

considerations

and

Evelyn

hold

is much

first of all

the

life of

on

"Evelyn Innes." The


the plane of primitive

the author

in the naturalist

But

for

less

and
difficulties;

documented,
the

impression of being

art.

of

in music.

the

more

has somewhat

over-

subjectof styles
tween
Evelyn'sspiritbe-

the

manner,

sharp oppositionin
an
opera singerand the

of her

demands

faith

tension to the periodduring


givesa strong emotional
bulk of the novel
which
she is approaching a decision. The
is taken up with this period,and half of it is at the height
of her struggle.The
uninterruptedpressure of her agonizing
problem givesto this book a highlydramatic character.
of persons,
It goes along with the limitation of the number
steadiness

the

and

with

the

which

concentration

periodof time, which


made
In

as

in

Lake"

of action

characteristic

are

"Sister Teresa"
thus

represents

well-made
novels

of interest

center

within

is maintained,
limited

features of the well-

novel.

and
which

the

novel.

with

we

all the action


have

the

another
"The

Lake"

with

is the story of Father

narrow

place in

limitation

characteristic

theme;
religious

"Evelyn Innes,"

takes

is another

of

George

an

Irish

vent,
con-

place
of

the

Moore's

same

reversed.

outcome

Gogarty,

of

tendency

it is virtually
the
the

the

theme
"The

priestin

parish,who, under the influence of love,


gradually loses his religiousfaith, and in the end gives
it up and disappears.
The
strikingtechnical feature of the
book is the handling of the point of view. Not merely is the
of interest Father
center
Gogarty; but the whole action is
presentedfrom his point of view.
It is probably not
that "The
without
Lake"
significance
(1905)dates from eleven years later than "Esther Waters,"
nine years later than "Evelyn Innes." It illustrates the growremote

country

NOVEL

TWENTIETH-CENTURA

THE

i38

follows
Lake"
novel. "The
ing vogue of the well-made
immediately after the most notable productionsof Henry
James in his later technique.The restricted point of view
I speak of the conlater when
I shall leave for discussion
tributions
of

to

romance

the ideal of the well-made

novel.

which
regard to the limitation of subject-matter,
phase of realism, it is observable that this
represents one
in the work
of
is likelyto make
its appearance
sporadically
concerned
with technique
novelists who
much
not
are
so
With

George Moore,

as

and

traditions.

Victorian

in these writers

who

And

in

limitation

the

generallyresults

general artistic
of their

effectiveness

loves

to

create

likes

to

the

from

notion

manner

to

the reader.

humorous

of Dickens

and

and

centric
ec-

Thackeray.

crowd

which

Dickens

He

one

up
sions.
ten-

built

inherited

tially
comedy is, on the other hand, an essenformative
ideal, leading to the presentationof types
Moliere
in a relatively
tain
simple plot.It is true that cerof emotional
elements
appeal are lackingin the stories

will

book

in the

autobiographicalmodel

that conform

and

typicalVictorian novelist.
intruding his philosophical

Smollett.

His

" la

not" always characteristic

are

the dramatic
continuityof the story and dissipate
Some
of his stories,like "Harry Richmond,"
are

the

and

his pages with people who


succeed
in holding the reader's interest and often break

another

on

subject-matter
of form

neatness

explaininghis characters
and
exploit at length

characters
He

of

old

work.

is in many
ways a
has the Victorian
passionfor

reflections and

in

which

Meredith
He

the

general represent

of

closest

to

the comic

Feverel"
prefer "Richard
"Diana
of the Crossways" to
in which
unquestionablythe

formula, and
to

ers
read-

"Evan

"The
most

many

Harrington,"
Egoist."But the

is made

of the

ma-

GEORGE

MEREDITH

terials chosen, in which


the reader

in dramatic

the action

for
possible,

plot,which

is concerned

attempt of young
to

the

Horace

De

Crayc
this

to

fondness
strict

of
thing,by the simplicity
from
beginning to end with

complacent
Laetitia

Crossjay Patterne,

misery of

to

and

get free from

selfish Sir

Dale, Vernon

her

the
the
gagement
en-

Willoughby.

Whitford

and

erence
their parts determined
by refhis
As
drama.
for Dr. Middleton,

all have

simple

for old

port and
of honor, serve

sense

fullyput before
Egoist"(1879).And

most

one

Middleton

Clara

is

is "The

scenes,

this is made

139

old
to

add

books, together with


much

to

the urgency

his
and

Clara's

predicament.
This simple,uncomplicated drama, without
the ghost of
a sub-plot,
playsitself out altogetherin one spot, at Patterne
Hall and its immediate
neighborhood, so that there is no
of energy
in the adjustment to new
And
it
waste
settings.
is all confined, after four brief introductory chapters,to a
few summer
weeks; indeed, the bulk of the book occupies
but two
three days, following close on
another's
or
one
heels. I can
think of no
English novel of that century in
which
situation is played up for so many
a singlelimited
close-knit scenes.
emotional
The
pages, through so many
interest of the reader is held by Clara's predicament; his
intellectual interest,by the vanity and
selfishness of Sir
Willoughby; and the two interests are constantlyfed by the
continuous
action. Ample time is given for the full
one
development and realization of each aspect; and the slight
timed
interest
to give new
are
so
as
objectiveoccurrences
and animation
The
it is needed.
to the story when
chapter
of persons in the
of the names
headings,so often consisting
scene,

of

sequence
of the
the

act

kinship to drama; and the immediate


scene
upon another involvingalways some

suggest the

characters suggests the liaison-des-scenes within

same

of

Meredith

one

French
was

no

the ideals of drama;

play.
doubt

much

and

it shows

influenced

in this story by
the advantagewhich
the

novel
three

NOVEL

TWENTIETH-CENTURY

THE

i4o

may derive from an observance


is of
classical unities. There

something like the


course
a corresponding
much
more
possibleto
called for by
is more
of

varietywhich is so
the novel than the play,and which
demand
the great length of the novel. Many readers, who
and subject,
will
of frequentchange of scene
the stimulus
find "The
doubtless
tinuous
Egoist" tedious, the strain of conacter
attention too great, especially
consideringthe charclever and
is so much
of the dialogue,which
more
allusive than that of everyday life. One
must
acknowledge
is hard
that Meredith
reading; but for this his amazing
sacrifice of that

style,his

intrusive

cleverness, is very largelyto blame.

It is

Egoist" would
quite possibleto conceive that "The
benefit by a good deal of cutting.
those
Beyond this it is impossibleto arbitrate between
find "The
tedious than his other
readers who
Egoist"more
find it more
One
books and those who
can
only
fascinating.
and that its qualities
say that it has the defects of its qualities,
those of a subjectstrictly
limited
and
veloped
are
fullydealso

on

In

the lines of the classic drama.

respects Hardy

some

is

even

more

Victorian

than

entirelyfree from Meredith's elephantine


And
inclined
he is infinitely
let the
to
more
playfulness.
Herod
story speak for itself.But in plothe often out-Herods
for mystery
in his Victorian
fondness
and complications.
is inordinatelyfond of coincidence
and
the crisscross
He
of circumstance
that comes
to
upset the plans and betray
the best intentions of the characters. This is Hardy's dark
angel;it givesa quaint and almost ridiculous air to such
Meredith.

books
reader

as

He

"Two

in much

is

on

Tower,"

nobler

and

work, such

even
as

bothers the fastidious


"The

Mayor

of Caster-

of probabridge."For, apart from the strain on our sense


bility,
of
much
so
complication
plot requiresa deal of

HARDY

THOMAS

14*

explaining;and the impatientauthor quiteoften contents


himself with telling
what happened instead of showing
us
novels
it to us; so that large portionsof Hardy's weaker
affect
than

scenario

like the

one

for

of fiction rather

work

the

developed work itself.


than anything else, in the
Hardy's greatness lies,more
association of events
with the settingin which
they occur.
There

has

been

never

novelist

of

total esthetic
harmonious

effect of

relation

is threefold:

to

our

to
sense

renders

who

sightand hearing,one
precisionand at the same

sensitive

so

impressions

to

with

them

much

so

regard for the


the scene
or
object rendered, its
involved. The
the emotions
appeal
of beauty,
of reality,
sense
to our
such

with

time

sympatheticemotions; and such a combination,


if not
so
rare,
unique in fiction,is what givesHardy his
over
a novelist with
superiority
greater endowments
many
and

to

our

in other
This

the

directions.
order

appeal is strongest

settingis his

doors, under
or

of

such

native

as

most

and

"Wessex,"
of

the full dominance

interiors

in those

suggest the

novels

is either

and

nature

molding

in which

the out-of-

the weather,

of life through

rural environment.
generationsby this particular
"Far from the Madding Crowd"
is only in the second place
and loyalty;
it is first
drama
of love, jealousy,
a
betrayal,
of all a portfolio
of exquisite
picturesof pastoraland farm
countless

life,in which

of
passions

the

color, their vividness


with

which

and

they are

the heart

take their

from
actuality,

tone

and

the rural occupations

associated.

photographed against
conventional
casions;
a
background which is kept ready for all ocof the picture,
of the oneness
and we
have no sense
of there being any essential relation of the figuresto the
background. Hardy has a constant realization,both esthetic
of people from
and
of the inseparableness
philosophical,
the natural setting
in which
they appear. They are growths
In

most

novels

of the soil,creatures

the characters

of weather

are

and

circumstance,

seen

as

landscape,the meaning of
that of other objects,
by their

objectsin
like

us,

NOVEL

TWENTIETH-CENTURY

THE

i42

which
mass

is conveyed
and

to

shape and

movement.

Hardy is predominantly an objectivewriter, taking his


positionand directinghis observation upon his characters
and
then proceeding to
like some
one
placing a camera,
ments
feelingthe objectsand moveinterpretin terms of human
he

observes.

passages where
attention
our
that interest

Fanny

Robin

milestone

to

This

he has the
with

great

least is his method

at

most

uncanny

intensityon

in

effect of
certain

many

focusing

characters

chapter in which
milestone
makes
her way so painfullyfrom
along the Casterbridgehighway. She is Fanny

us.

This

is his method

in the

in

symbolic

in the story in whom


interested;
are
we
than that. She is a kind of portentous figure
landscape,and she takes on the tragicdignity

of

symbol

suggestingfar

Robin,

character

but she is more

and
and

"

bewilderment,

than

liness,
lonesuffering,
Fanny Robin betrayed

of human

more
mere

dying.

The

most

famous

example

of story and
is most
which

of the association

settingin Hardy is also that one of his novels


Return
remarkable
for unityand simplicity
of design,"The
of the Native"
(1878).And it is the association of story and
this
than
anything else, determine
settingwhich, more
structural beauty.Enough has been written about
Egdon
Heath
since Lionel
Johnson's fine appreciationin "The
Art of Thomas
Hardy." And I wish to dismiss this subject
with as few words
since I have written of it so
as
possible,
I shall therefore say nothing of the
elsewhere.
extensively
specialimaginativeappeal of "The Return of the Native,"
the power
and subtletywith which
Hardy has made us see
the characters in their savage, mournful
setting.
What
I must
fail to mention
is the importance of
not
Egdon Heath in the motivation of the characters, its philosophical
in the very design of the story. Each
significance
of the major characters
and especially
Eustacia
one
Vye
"

THOMAS

and

"

Heath.

For

Eustacia

For

Clym

"

who

and
its pomps
Wordsworth's
mountains

and

life of labor

natural

vanities

the humble

in

usefulness.

When

mother,
is the

outcome

The

view

like

an

is obliged to

of him

insect in the

earn

well

simple,
loses the

his

living
ship
hard-

no

for his

as

actual

tragedy

plot.
discovered

as

the

furze-cutter, it is

but

in the

much

Clym

for his young


wife, as
it is nothing short of tragedy.And

for him,

from

means

him;

to

reading and
occupation of

it

"

meant

of his eyes for

use

toward

exile
stagnation,

it means

disgustedwith
what

his attitude

by

the pomps
and vanities of the great
from the great world,
has returned

all that she loves, from


world.

143

is determined

Clym Yeobright

Egdon

HARDY

by

Yeobright moving
landscapeof the heath, a

barren

vast

Mrs.

inhuman

this scene
alone
figureclothed in leather
is sufficient to establish Hardy as one
of the greatest of
Englishwriters. But its peculiargreatness lies in the perfect
appropriatenessof the setting,its absolute identification
the story, the fact that philosophically
with
it is indispensable.

drab

Something

"

similar

is

for "The

true

"Tess

of the D'Urbervilles," for

in the

two

by

their

last mentioned,
built

being

in

Egdon

Heath.

And

instinct

lead

and
then

of them
an

"Aftercourses,"

out

which

of interest, a
is the

unity of

in the story laid in


does the same
tural
struc-

effective

I leave

And

composition as

of

account

gards
re-

the sixth

sion
Hardy's concesfor a happy ending
the magazine editor's demand
to
included
in his originaldesign. The
not
was
story
in one
is all included
time,
and
ing
endyear's
beginning
with long scenes
at
the Guy
night centeringaround

Fawkes
the

such

singlecenter

organic as

none

of time.

the element

book, entitled

to

so

for

design is heightened

of these novels

none

nor

in

the Obscure."

"Jude

the effect of

about

singlecharacter. But
place so remarkable

Woodlanders,"

celebrations

five books

was

of the fifth of November.

is like

single act

of

Each

one

tragedy,with

of
the

XIII

DRAMATIC

.s

ONE

of

aware

the

not

the

to

classic

of

number

large

name,

the

at

of

of

give

the

seldom

Else"

there

certain

But

are

constitute

point

to

feeling

our

while

logically

dramatic

the

novel,

in

The

involved

actually

in

the

lead

to

the

all

whole

fect
per-

found

is

since

the

of the

novel
of

some

from

well-

well-made
and

complete

away

growing

called

well-made

the

trast
con-

acquainted

am

features

the

completest

special contribution,
that

in

hard

very

they

I have

what

in

is

(1923).

on

separately classified, especially

be

degree

It

tendency.
is

features

broadly,

work.

which

been

has

less

is

tinguished
dis-

goldenrod.

are

single

"Fraulein

tendency

of

involved

are

with

novel

be

novel

features

in

infallibly

commoner

dramatic

so

This

or

whole

in

which

novel

the

more

dramatic.

standing,

strongly present

novel.

made

and

on

time

novelette

is

greater

venience
con-

be

characterizing

variety

or

in

it, and

same

dramatic
and

one,

of

dramatic

Schnitzler's
The

and

different

many

example

itself

opposed

expression
present

dog

novelists,

example

so

of

showing

tendency

can

of all the

presence

for

it would

the

and

becomes

one

which

Or

toward

itself

novel,
type

dramatic.

tendency

breed

some

of the

certain

call

knows

the

by
like, say,

that

type

to

field

of

briefly

may

refer

to

whole

existence

we

exact

the

surveys

PRESENT

which
should

these
formula

tures,
feaof

it into

novel

and

the

play

be

read

and

the

quite

distinguishable type.
The
grow

essential
out

of

the

differences
fact

that

between

the
145

novel

the
is

to

NOVEL

TWENTIETH-CENTURY

THE

146

presentedon the stage. In the novel the action


is described; in the play it is performed before our
eyes.
limitations
of stage presentationenormously reduce
The
in the play.Practically
be shown
the amount
of action that can
speaking,the playconsists entirelyof dialoguewith
the accompanying gestures. The
stage directions, though
plays to bulk large on the printed
they tend in modern
not, properlyspeaking,a part of the play,since
page, are
the play has no
real existence
the stage. There
except on
the stage directions
translated
are
directlyinto painted
and
scenes
thoughts of
stage business. The
gesture or
the characters, the whole
subjectiveaccompaniment of the
from
the matter
of the play,except in
action, is excluded
the dubious
and unplausibleform
of soliloquyand aside.
it is impossiblefor the play to explain the circumstanc
Moreover,
which
have
given rise to the present action,
except as this may be accomplished in the dialogue.The
it clear to
explain the characters and make
play cannot
the spectator what
the masks
they are reallylike behind
which
for one
The
another.
they wear
playwright has to
provide his characters with masks which are transparent
play is to

to

be

the spectator.

from the
that, at every point,the play is distinguished
novel by its greater limitations, by all it has to go without.
So

It has

characterization,
exposition,description,
go without
without
"psychology,"and almost entirelywithout
to

action.
And

at

so

advantages

first thought,the novel


and

the

play

their essential difference


be present at a play,even
of an advantage this form
than
is

makes

passedon

medium

up
to

of the
we

are

all the

appears to have all the


limitations involved
in

of function.
a

third-rate

possesses

second

only

become

aware

its rival which

The

to

more

story of the novel

dull
hand, through the relatively

imagination.That

present

has

one

play,to

over

for all its limitations.


us

But

in person,

we

of the
see

rect;
play is given di-

with

our

own

eyes,

PRESENT

DRAMATIC

with

hear

we

our

own

ears.

147

while, in human

And

beings,
powerful faculty,

imaginationis a highlydeveloped and


it is,after all,derivative, secondary;it cannot
at all compare
with the immediate
in intensity
impact of things upon
the novel has all the advantage;
the senses.
Intellectually
emotionallyit is the play.And we are, firstof all,creatures
of emotion.
So that to have the appeal of a play of a given
be ten
times as powerful in its kind.
caliber a novel must
All along novelists have been more
less obscurelyconor
scious
which
of the disadvantage under
they labored in
and have been seekingto supcomparison with playwrights,
ply
the elements
wanting to their form of writing.What
derives from
the stage has is directness,immediacy. This
the

the fact that the story is enacted, is put on before the eyes
of the spectator. It is not something in the past, but something
this is
going on now, in the immediate
present. And
the "dramatic"

where

in novels

Even

novelist takes his

from

cue

the drama.

there is something that is felt as the dramatic

from
present. It is distinguished

all that

circumstances

of antecedent

tive
generalizednarragoes by the name

which

feel that now


characterization, etc. We
at
exposition,
last,on such and such a day, in such and such a place,
events
are
actuallymoving to their climax; we are done
with explanationsand are
for which
present at the scene
has been preparing us.
the author
of

Balzac

lays down
he

is

is famous

the antecedent

to

constitute

point is sometimes
book.

Thus

part, which

point where

lyingin

which

he

of his stories;and
he

passes
the scenes

from

that

the past to
that are
the present of the story. In Balzac
this
than half-waythrough the
actuallymore

in "Ursule
is rather

part, that he
begin."If one

with

elaborateness

circumstances

of the

clearlyaware

part of his material


felt

for the

informs
should

it is at the end

Mirouet"

longerthan

the second

and

of the first

concluding

is about
that his story proper
to
apply to the narrative the laws of the
us

stage, the arrival of Savinien, in

introducingto

Nemours

THE

the

only personage

be present
to

for

us

the

the book

"Le

In

point
"

at

"

stilllackingof those who

was

here

which

to

securities he
this obscure

he

from

turns

in

Muret

had

purchased.Here

regard

through
expositionto the
third

one

the

information

M.

but

brings the exposition

here

little less than

should

Goriot," again,Balzac indicates

Pere

present. "This

dramatic
known

who

this little drama,

at

end."

an

NOVEL

TWENTIETH-CENTURY

148

all that

was

Goriot, whose

old

to

ends

was

the

expositionof

fearful Parisian

tragedy."
But since, in the narrative, everything is reallyin the
present than anything else except
past, and nothing more
by a trivial approximationin time, what is it givesus, in
of the dramatic
a
present?On the stage
story, this sense
everythingis present because everythingis enacted directly
have the
In a story, we
eyes and ears.
equivalentof the dramatic present whenever
for

our

vividly "constituted

scene,"

selected,a "discriminated
done

with

present situation, he

When

circumstances

arrives

the

at

calls it,

the

author
led

that

situation

have

we

Henry James

as

occasion."

explainingthe

psychological

to

itself in

is
the
its

in some
immediacy. The persons are confronted
hour of the day; they
particularplace,at some
particular
begin to act, they begin to talk, they are actuallyin the
process of working out the issue. It is an issue which
may
have existed historically
for a long time, and various operations
"behind
have
been
the
scenes."
But
going on
may
it becomes
immediate
issue; it is brought upon the
now
an
engaged; the battle is on;
stage; the opposed forces are
concrete

there

must

found, and

be

some

that here

It is this urgency of
most
to give a dramatic

story
"

it is this which
the reader

nay

perhapsas

an

that
actor

decision
and
an

"

some

solution

must

be

now.

immediate
character

issue which
certain

does

the

portionsof a
cheats the imagination,
and
suades
perhe is actually
present, as a spectator,
to

in the drama.

DRAMATIC

But

the presence of a clearly


defined issue,
matic
sharpoppositionof forces, the effect of the dra-

is secured

present
time

every

149

without

even

without

PRESENT

he

shows

occasion.

the

skilful

his characters

us

Our

by

of

writer

in action

on

interest in human

mere

fiction
a

ticular
par-

character,

curiosityas to what these people will say next,


will fire our
imaginationto the point of forgettingthat it
is merely imagination,will beguileus into thinkingwe
are

our

mere

there in person.
There
are
long stretches
concerned

with

introduced

the dramatic
to

in Dickens

where

we

issues of the story. We

so
people so droll,so peculiar,

households

are
are

not

ing
be-

ing
enchant-

deliciously
impossible that we are
perforcetransportedto the scene and give ourselves up for
hours at a time to "listening
in" on
the talk of Mr. and
Mrs. Micawber, say, or of SaireyGamp, pouringout
strong
from
her
liquor
tea-pot and spinning the myth of her
"

to

friend Mrs.
It has
contrast

"

Harris.

always
the

so

art

been
of

in many
points,so
much
involved
in

favorite

occupation of critics to
Dickens
and Thackeray, so very like
is
very unlike in general effect. There
a

this

difference

of

effect

"

matters

of

social level presented.But


style,
philosophy,
all these togetherare enough to explain the decidedly
not
of Dickens, a popularitywhich
greater popularity
persists
in spiteof the coldness of
critics toward
him.
I
many
suspect that the most
important singlefactor involved is
the much
in the matter
of
greater generosityof Dickens
the discriminated occasion. The
proportionof pages in
which we feel ourselves to be actually
"there" is enormously
that is enough
greater in Dickens than in Thackeray. And
to make
up, with the generalreader, for the more
genteel
of
conscientious
style
Thackeray, his more
realism, his
intellectual approach to his subject.And
more
it doesn't
that Dickens
has been guiltyof working
mean
necessarily

temperament,

the emotional

stops; it means

matter,

probably a
The

better

in part that he is,in this ticular


parskilful, and
technician, a more
his rival.

conscious, artist than

more

of Dickens

scenes

longer than

those

mechanical

feature; but

reader's

NOVEL

TWENTIETH-CENTURA

THE

150

of

are,

on

Thackeray.
it has
makes

psychology,and

the average, many


This may
seem
a

powerful effect
stronglyfor the sense
a

times

merely
the

on

of the

dramatic

the stage are


present. Scenes on
very long; in
the modern
drama, they occupy an entire act, and take on

perform. If at the
to adjusthis mind
occasion so foreignto his own
to an
experience,by the time
the act is a third-waythrough he will be thoroughly "en
rapport";by the time it is half-way through his interest
will be profoundly engaged by the dramatic
fore
issue; and behe knows
it he will have forgottenthat he* is sittingin
his seat in a theater
in
he will be completely absorbed
in which
the scene
he is taking part. If the mere
passage
of time has this effect in a play,where
the spectator has the
powerful evidence of eye and ear to the present realityof
the average
minutes
about
to
forty-five
the spectator finds it a bit difficult
start

"

the action, how

much

he has the feebler


It takes

sufficient

testimony

certain

momentum

it be

must

more

of

length of

mere

time

so

in

story, where

imagination.
for

to

scene

work

up
it in

carry the reader along with


of its being fiction,
and to give him

to

complete obliviousness
of being there with the characters
in an
a
sense
tioned
unquesNow.
have
of
a
chapter
generalized
Suppose we
narrative, coveringthe developments of a month
a year.
or
Bits of anecdote
to illustrate the doings
may be introduced
of the characters. They may
involve an
even
exchange of
remarks
on
some
particularoccasion. They may be very
well

told, very well chosen

they

are

chance
vivid

in less than

over

to
sense
us

take hold
of
in

for their illustrative ends.


a

page,

before

have

we

that

But

had

occasion with any


particular
And
the whole
presses
chapter impresent reality.
history interesting
retrospect as so much
upon

"

DICKENS

enough
the

history,it

as

temperature,

with

AND

or

which

THACKERAY

151

that

raisingof
pulse, that goes

be, but without


may
acceleration
of the

personallypresent.
Other
the
things being equal, the longer the scene
is involved,
stronger the hold on the reader's imagination.Much
in that plausiblephrase,"other things
to be sure,
being equal."It is necessary, of course, that the characters
be sufficiently
and the situation should
to hold
interesting
attention, and this implies great imaginative power
our
the part of the author. Or else it impliesa dramatic
issue
on
so
strong, and capable of such extensive development, that
will follow the scene
with growing suspense.
the reader
And
this is the point at which
abatement
should
be
some
of the praisegiven to Dickens
made
artist in comas
an
parison
at

scenes

with

we

are

Sometimes

Thackeray.

he

presumes
is inclined to make

of

on

his

them
animating puppets, and
twice, half a dozen
go through their amusing antics once,
times too often. Tastes change with the age, and we
to-day
that an author get his effects more
demand
We
are
swiftly.
inclined
sometimes
to
ner
manprefer the brief anecdotal
of Thackeray's scenes
the elaborated
fullness of
to

power

Dickens's.
And

in

complain

the

suspense

considerable

makes
one

dramatic
enables

tremendous

issue

scene

reason

appeal is

and

that enables

the emotional
One

to

us

the

period on

that

and

scene

tension

inclined

are

attention

keep our

situation

same

than

more

time

and

continuous

and
which

keep up

without

to

of
ates
cre-

fixed for

feeling

anything

else that

maintain

ourselves

Now.

the skilful author

And
to

it is the

bridge the gap

for hundreds

is of the

why a long scene


a long scene
means

of the dramatic

we

fail in power
for want
issue. It is the issue which

forgetthe lapseof

us

issue alone
between

the other,
often

scenes

strain. It is the

the

in

and

and

case

that their

sharplydefined

one

means
an

present. When

essence

of pages
of drama.

ordinarilya strong
tenance
uninterruptedmainone

scene

is over,

PRESENT

DRAMATIC

is called

matter

singledramatic

of all forces upon

for, a concentration
line

which

on

the

153

the

playwrightdepends for

his effect
I have

spoken
in order

of this

as

the

ideal of the

distinguishit

to

modern

wright,
play-

of Shakway
dramatists. But it

from

the

of the great Elizabethan


spere and most
ideal of the "classic" French
likewise the academic
was

Englishplaywrightsof

unities. It

and

turies,
eighteenthcen-

practiceof the ancients.


expressionin the critical dogma of

following
theoretical

the seventeenth

the

the

was

the

playwrightsof

It had

nineteentli

century,

like

the

was

French

most

and

fluenti
in-

it is,on

dominant

procedure with contemporary


liant
that brilso
playwrightseverywhere in Europe, so much
played
disexceptionsstand out by the daring and originality
in their departure from
traditional stagecraft.
of writing plays is based
in a very
In origin this way
simple fact of psychology.It is dictated by the desire to
the strongest emotional
secure
appeal possiblewithin the
limits of an
evening'sperformance. But that which had
its originin such a practical
consideration, in the shrewd
have an
to
economies, comes
traction
atcalculatingof emotional
of a more
purelyesthetic character. That simplicity
is prescribedby the exigenciesof dramatic
of line which
element
of formal
to be prizedfor itself as an
appeal comes
ilar
beauty, a mark of eleganceand grace. The process is simthe

whole,

the

natural

its

three

Augier

way of Ibsen, the


of all playwrightssince Shakspere.And

fils.It

Dumas

the

strategy of successful

common

and

that which

to

where

goes on
and
courage

in the world

of morals

and

honesty and

ners,
man-

to
politenesscome
in themselves and without
be admired
regard to the useful
they have served in social organization.So the
purposes
three unities are regarded as classic features of the dramatic
form, giving a touch of distinction to the play to which
they are applied.And it may even be that the play in question

is

not

otherwise

effective
particularly

as

drama.

day,

own

drama,
is

ing

their

by

of

tical
Thus

scenes

to

seem

linking

to

scene

of
rather

telling
that

has

be

largely

the

instinct

show

and

scene,

another

effect,
than
determined

it

is,
any

the
motived

subordinate

to

make

with

an

the

theoretical
their

method.

strik

more

by

the

emotional

for

to

which

nineteenth-centur)

disposition

fancy,

the

the

of

effect

an

But

in

length,

one

upon

continuity

who

considerable

at

follow

by

novelists

"dramatic."

tendency
to

me

producing

ir

who,

simplicity

formal

cases,

as

this

consideration,
in

the

many

readers

instances

novel

form

in

novelists

certain

beer

has

consideration

of

emulated

have

without,

felt

esthetic

purely

consciousness

the

in

present
our

this

that

fancy

NOVEL

TWENTIETH-CENTURY

THE

154

the
almost

sheer

to

prac

appeal
theii

develop
the

passages

successive

scenes

uninterrupted
genius

preoccupation

for

story
with

XIV

DRAMATIC

has

who

given

the

tendency

is Dostoevski.

led

more

once

making
the
a

to

the

clear

dramatic

number

carried

to

To

its

logical

author
and
in

earlier

incidental

which

the
is

Where

of

Brothers
these
of

author

Mitchell,
in
the

way,

other

not

and
a

the

when

ideal

having

have

in

sufficiently
in

come

chapters
in

possible

as

that

man
show-

as

the

brief

the

and

ment"
Punish-

the

ordinary

has

of

town"

story,

155

certain

whose

Captain
to

been

as

and

later

present

"The

passages

narrator

"

relation

Marlow,

Joseph
being

certain

ingeniously put

very

imaginary

an

of

with

story
Possessed"

well

as

"our

the

himself

"Crime

In

"The

Davidson
in

of

necessarily

as

matic
dra-

naturally

presence.

hands

that

Captain

persons,

In

consider

to

the

evidence

in

in

as

of

unlike

character

be

Dostoevski

gentleman
is

am

pushed

has

that

once

begin

to

introductory chapters,

anonymous

it will
than

of his

Karamazov,"

into

and

little

so

exposition,

exposition,

theme

I shall

it is necessary

amount

can

practice.

conscious

not

that

he

as

more

And

is

in

obvious

chapters,

author

he

work.

his

of

involved

This

follow.

that

convenient

most

little

as

Dostoevski's

discussing
reader

be

it will

mention

to

are

be

dramatic

the

reason

which

to

one

limits.

commentator.

labored
for

lengths

features

makes

this

examination

special
it will

distinct

with,

it is for

unusual

of

begin

And

ideal,

of

striking examples

most

the

novelists,

nineteenth-century

serious

ALL

DOSTOEVSKI

PRESENT:

to

the

Captain

Conrad.

acquainted
(in

an

"The

He

is,
with
Pos-

TWENTIETH-CENTURY

THE

156

sessed")on

NOVEL

of the occasions

many

he has

Where

recorded.

from
he has his information
personally,
reliable sources,
from comelse he has piecedit together
mon
or
man
rumor,
using his judgment and his knowledge of huof what happened which
to arrive at a version
nature
shall be least remote
is constantly
He
from probability.
is
what
between
is known
to be true, what
distinguishing
probably true, and what "people say.''His narrative is
and such as to give a faint suggestion
lively,
picturesque,
of complacent egoism on
the part of the writer. It is if
man
the translation
the styleof an elderlyclubone
trust
can
with a genius for gossip.
It is full of phraseslike: "I
know
for a fact," "I must
franklyown," "I may add here
for myselfpersonally,"
"I only learned
the other day to my
intense amazement,
though on the most
unimpeachable
authority ." It often reminds one of the styleof Defoe
in his incomparable"Apparitionof Mrs. Veal." In short,
been

not

present

"

"

where
his

he could

dramatic

expositora

Another

get rid of him.

not

creation

on

has made

Dostoevski
his

own

of

account.

gle,
predisposingto drama is a theme sintreatment.
clear-cut,and callingfor a close continuous
That
this element
is notably present in Dostoevski
I have
shown
in Chapter VIIL
A recurringtheme
with him is the
element

effect of crime

is
state of his characters. This
spiritual
marked
to be most
during the periodjustpreceding
likely
and justfollowing
less
the crime, and is so powerfuland relentthat it will
has somehow
this makes

not

now

let its victim


its terrible

met

for the

Coming
dramatic

the

on

to

method,

go for

It
challenge.

of the dramatic

sense

the

an

until he

is obvious

how

present.

mechanical
specific

I shall list them

instant

under

of the

features

headings.I
do not, however, attach any magical significance
that
to
number, which might readilybe enlargedor decreased by
some

other

method

of classification. And

that these five separate features have

five

it will
a

way

be

of

served
ob-

being

DRAMATIC

involved
ways to
First
author

with

bring about

the

then,

the center

for drama.

first

result.

same

of

longer the

interest. The

of interest,the

singlecenter
and

in many

more

it makes

the story follows


interruptionthrough the

Punishment*'

virtuallywithout

of 550 pages; or still farther, as far as page


of 23 pages between
include
his friend
a scene
and his mother
and sister at which
he is not

out

200

363, if

"Crime

In

Raskolnikov

to

as

157

another, and that they combine

one

keepsto

DOSTOEVSKI

PRESENT:

we

Razumihin

is the main

present. He

subjectof

their discussion,so

may say that he is stillthe center


part of the book, there are scenes
we

that

of interest. In the later

involvingLuzhin, Sonia,
Katerina
Ivanovna
and
(20 pages),and others involving
Sonia and Svidriga'ilov
(25 pages).The first of these passages
Raskolnikov
in which
preparationfor a scene
nikov,
plays the principalrole; in the second we leave RaskolTo
shadow, Svidriga'ilov.
only to follow his spiritual
is in

all intents

and

purposes

Raskolnikov

is the

center

of interest

throughout the story; and he is actuallypresent in


nearlyseven
eighthsof the narrative.
Idiot" Prince Myshkin is the center
of interest
In "The
ously
throughout.And he is personallypresent almost continuers
during the first460 (outof 588) pages. In "The BrothKarama/ov"
characters.

But

the interest is divided


there

the three main


among
in which
they are present

longscenes
Zossima's
at the Elder
together:for example, the scene
(70 pages)and that of the trial (120pages).And still more,
in which
there are
one
or
extremely long suites of scenes
is continuouslypresent and the center
other of them
of interest.
Mitya holds the stage during the whole of Book VIII
(100 pages),and then, after a brief interruptionto explain
the policegot on his trail,through the whole of the
how
book
next
(69 pages more). Alyosha,in addition to being
at Father
Zossima's,is the center
present through the scene
of interest throughoutmost
of the following
books III, IV,
are

THE

158
and

TWENTIETH-CENTURY

about

(inall

the

on

These

264 pages, allowingfor

subjectof Smerdyakov).
of Dostoevski
belong

novels

nor
autobiographical

those

the

to

it would

genres,

NOVEL

be

find

to

novels

this does

Dostoevski's.

But

until it is considered
appear
accompanying features of dramatic structure.

My

second

limited

point of view

My

have

not

to

later

of it to

sort

which

third

Punishment"

the

in "The

is

"The

Moscow,
of these
within

novels

the

This

There

and

the

to

Karamazov"

is

there

where

Dounia

and

and

placeson

murders,

that
to

Raskolnikov's

he

house

is

burg;
Peters-

"our

the

to

neighboring
in the

town"

between

of Pavlovsk.

considerable

true
particularly

are

is such

the

and

number

burg,
PetersIn each

of

settings

particulartown.

whom

taverns

resort

summer

cityof

it is limited

Idiot," it is distributed
the

the

Dostoevski

of place.la "Crime

provincialcityof Skotoprigonyevskand
of Mokroe;
in "The
Possessed" to
village
provinces.In

with

I shall put off discussion

is limited

Brothers

of
significance

which

matter

limitation

action

so

corollaryof the first,the


tends to go along with the limited

considered, and

chapter.
point is the

teenth
nine-

of

of interest. This

center
seems

point is

of

the stage

along

not

the

to

in the

on

full

the

position
ex-

Outside

biographical
genre.

hard

of

pages

neither

century that keep singleindividuals

continuouslyas

10

Punishment."

house, that of the old

her mother
the

woman

"

Sonia's, that
Porfiry's,
stay; not to speak of several

streets.

Raskolnikov

in the

and

Marmeladov's,

another, and

about

of "Crime

is

The

nature

of the action

perpetuallygoing

from

in his distraction of mind

streets.

So that while

in the

unityof place,in detail,within that frame, there


frequent change of place,perhaps as frequentas

dramatically
arranged.In

novels

of Dostoevski

all of them

there

are

dering
wan-

largethere

is

average novel.
In this respect the other

"

one

are

is very
in the

more

extremely

DRAMATIC

DOSTOEVSKI

PRESENT:

159

Such
continuouslyin a singleroom.
is the scene
at General
Epanchin's in "The Idiot" (PartI,
the convent,
at
Chapters II to VII, 72 pages);the scene

long scenes

the

played out

suite of

long

"The

Brothers

whole

of Book

bent.

is

But

him

the

lookingforward
time
a

of the action

little more

periodof

than
time

notable
events

still if
are

clouded

but

by
strongly
much
which

in

covered

time

the

Punishment,"

the theme

of
to

some

is

leaving out
professedlya mere

of

separate book, the entire


fifteen

or

sixteen

days,

This is an exceptionally
short
fortnight.
in the older novel
for a book of
especially
a

"

we

the limitation

pages. And
take into

there

are

mind

account

only

intervals

two

the

on

brieflysummarized.

very

of

novelist

of time

of

days whose
claysof presented

unconsciousness

part of Raskolnikov

Of

is more

those
the

actuallypresented.Between

action

and

and

is limited

five hundred

over

are

"

of

amount

Epilogue, which

to

taken

even

significance,
again,becomes
taken along with other features

"Crime
brief

be

to

the

for the

its

it.
accompany
My fourth point is the
In

remarkable
sufficiently

singleplace.And,

shows

it is

greater when

account

in

scene

occupying
(the last one
chapters,120 pages).

XII, 14

itself,this feature

aggregate.

trial

the

and

Karamazov"

Altogether,Dostoevski
laid in
lengthof scenes
dramatic

Mokroe

at

scenes

which

are

days actuallypresented there

nine.

"The

Brothers

the

entire

period of the
is less than
action, exclusive of the introductoryexposition,
But here again there are
intervals which
three months.
two
the author
a
period from the end of August,
passes over,
time of the murder, to the beginning of November,
time
the day of the
of the trial;and a five days'interval between
trial and that of the Epilogue.Of days actuallypresented
but seven
of nearly a thouand
there are
this in a book
sand
In

Karama/ov,"

"

Idiot" opens in November;


then, after an
pages. "The
it begins again with the folinterval briefly
summarized,

DRAMATIC

reach

issue

at

decision, to

some

that

"

DOSTOEVSKI

PRESENT:
come

to

of all that is

settlement

take time

they cannot

161

for

sleepor

food.

They

sumed
champagne, which can be contime to
while they go on talkingand thinking.From
time they fall into the fitful sleepof nervous
exhaustion,
only to be haunted
by dreams which bring back the preoccupatio
of their waking hours. Very often they keep
going all night,like eight-dayclocks, so that the second day
with the first. In "The
continuous
Possessed"
is literally
four successive days thus linked by all-night
there are
sessions.
how
often they change their location
And
matter
no
the same
in space, these people carry with them
fevers, the
unsolved
and urgent problems.
same
has not
read Dostoevski
who
One
might easilyderive
of what he is like.
from this description
a quite false notion

live

to

seem

It does

tea

on

allow

not

and

for the

of interest he

keeping his characters thus upon


the strain, for the strong appeal of mystery and strangeness,
which
he knows
for the manifold
how
to
objectification
His work
is neither so monotonous
give to a theme so simplified.
melodramatic
account
as
nor
so
might sugmy
gest.
inexhaustible
is
his
which
enables him
It
imagination
of one
thus to expand the occurrences
day so as to fill an
ordinary person'squota of drama for a lifetime.
I am
What
tional
tryingto indicate is the extraordinaryemotension which
goes along with his packing so much
experienceinto the limits of a few days,and those days
And
crowding upon one another without pause or respite.
since my subjectis technique,I am
tryingto show how the
of his narrative lend themselves to
very physicalconditions

is able

to

introduce

large diversification

the creation
The

reader

of this method
more

of such

while

emotional

will have
work

concentrated.

tension.

observed

togetherto
In

"Crime

merely that the same


person
through the greater part of 550

how
make
and

the several
the drama

more

Punishment"

is the
pages,

center

but

features

it is
of

and
not

interest

that the action

NOVEL

TWENTIETH-CENTURA

THE

162

continuouslyis confined to
nine clays'
Idiot" it is not
time. In "The
merely that the
is the center
same
through a narrative of still
person
singleday of action in which
greater length,but that one
he
is continuously present occupies 176 close-printed
pages, that the settingis but three times changed within
that period,and that one
in one
singlescene
place is 72
there are
Brothers
where
Karamazov,"
pages long.In "The
he takes part almost

in which

three main

of interest, each

centers

one

in

turn

is followed

ter
length:Mitya occupying the cenof the stage, during two
vening
successive days and the internight,to the tune of 169 pages; Alyosha being present
of interest, through
and, for the most
part the center
all the
260 pages devoted
successive days.Sometimes
to two
in a singlescene,
gle
on
a sinleadingcharacters are assembled
day and in one
place,running up in one case to 70

through passages

of great

pages, in another

to

drama

into the limits of

is crowded

firstfour
To

the end

that the reader

singleperson

this person

placeso

as

seven

of this

days,of

prodigious
which

have

may

story, it is a

stronglythe
good thing to

present in

for

of interest. It is still better

center

the

to

sense

have
that

play out his part in close limitations


guard againsttoo frequentchange of scene.
that his action, so limited in place,shall

shall

is still better

narrowly

the action

absolutelycontinuous.

are

of the dramatic
a

And

120.

limited

in

time

of
It
be

providecontinuityof
effect. And
the better to secure
such continuity,
it is well
that the story should
be limited to a small number
of days
and that the whole
whose action is presented,
ered,
period covshould
be as short
includingintervals not presented,
as possible.
Naturally,there are many considerations which make it
impossibleto carry out this scheme with any rigorof logic,
so

that

we

must

add,

savingphrase,"other

to

so

each

as

one

to

of these statements,

thingsbeing equal."The

novel

the
has

DRAMATIC

plenty
too.

offer

to

serious

No
of

many

reasons

important.

PRESENT:

besides

drama.

novelist

has

fiction

dramatic
for

his

DOSTOEVSKI

as

effectiveness

is

drama

But

gone

163

far

so

to

Dostoevski.
this

good
the

meet

And
is

one

among
of

the

thing
tions
condi-

the
most

XV

DRAMATIC

PRESENT:

be

WOULD

hard

are

consider
his

from

of

some

of

parts,

thus

material

Vronsky,

limited

confined
or

If

attempted

more

The

method

labors
of

between
of

certain

that
of

points

relief

higher

main

of

the

culiarity
pe-

centers

of

dominant

through
of

time.

of

events

to

each

(Anna,

or

each
"

is

them

periods,

group

months

ciple
prin-

carry

main

Generally

three

of

of whom

one

"

eight
of

The

interest

characters,

and

into

novel

larger groupings
division.

main

six

his

chapter

experiences

not

reduce

the

itself, considering
shorter

the

by

period
the

to

he

or

center

part

will
ter,
win-

summer,

spring.

we

could

his

the

in

to

"

which

midway

divides

Tolstoy

three

or

in

out

account

comparison

consciousness

his

is

of

out

system.

that

chronologically

phases, massing
be

bring

to

throughout

present

and

(1847-48)

is indicated

Levin),

forward

during

Fair"

showing

under

(1875-76)

than

directions

other

principle.

Thackeray's,

serve

given

"

dramatic

Thackeray's

than
is

always

the

significant

is

in

Thackeray

position
com-

Dostoevski's

leaving

"

disadvantages

"Vanity
will

structure

with

while

of

methods

whose

contrast

Karenina"

and

with

It

the

"Anna

Dostoevski's
novel

of

of

neglect
in

Tolstoy

writer

it is worth

merits

shining

the

in

And

Thackeray's.

find

to

more

TOLSTOY

THACKERAY,

than

"Anna

dispersed

division

similar

parts
that

fewer

to

than

English

the

Karenina,"

character

for

of

the

164

is

"Vanity Fair/'
eleven.

novel
an

is

And

in

appreciably

indication

material.

this

we

This

of
becomes

the

DRAMATIC

still more
years
a

evident

when

in the

covered

each

is

day

one

In

we

of Dostoevski, of
and

days
in

another

of

the

number

like three

fourteen

lapseof

This

time

of
and

for

"Vanity

time

within

becomes

more

is given to the

significa
doings

days.

find, there is

approach

an

developingextensivelythe
of days that follow
groups

the

practice
vidual
doings of indicloselyon one
to

Thus
the first part is confined
sequence.
of four days,all in Moscow,
that we
so

dramatic

the

to

than

much

165

something

Englishnovel.

ask how

Tolstoy,we

that

greater average

succession

or

is

fewer

not

much

in the

division
when

of

consider

we

aggregate

and

half for "Anna"

Fair." There

TOLSTOY

PRESENT:

events

impression of uninterrupted action during 34


chapters,136 pages. In II and III we have a group of 96
the horse-race and the days immediately
to
pages devoted
following.In general it is probably true that in each part
have

the

there

will be

which

occupy

two

from

75

Thackeray

With

I find

book

whole

of

groups,
to

the

90 per
is
case

only

or

one

three

cent

several

days, each

of

of the entire division.

quite the

contrary.

occasions

on

which

In

he

the
motely
re-

grouping of Tolstoy, let alone


The
Dostoevski.
first group
comprises the first six chapters,
beginning with the day when Amelia and Becky leave
approaches

Miss

Pinkerton's

which
heart

here

dramatic

In

covering

the

first unsuccessful

two

weeks

assault

on

in
the

Jos Sedley.This is with Thackeray a very exceptional


of
of
the
of
And
a
case
scenes.
development
group
reckon
that Thackeray gives about
we
one
may

There

some

her

and

of

seventh

where

school

makes

Becky

the

much

as

are

space as Tolstoy to each


several other circumstances

character
the

occurrences

of

those

rare

of

several

day'soccurrences.
that

occasions

days

are

in

reduce

the

Thackeray

developed at
acter
major char-

length.In Tolstoy the presence of one


able
throughout givescontinuityto passages of considerlength,even when the settingis several times changed.
Thackeray there is no such thingas dramatic continuity;

TWENTIETH-CENTURY

THE

166
we

perpetuallypassingfrom

are

character

one

NOVEL

another.

to

one

Thus

in

placeto another, from


the culminating scenes

dramatic
in the book
"Vanity Fair," the most
with
Becky'striumph at Lord Steyne'sparty,
ending with the break-up of her manage with Rawdon

of

"

part of the time with Rawdon,

are

we

with

part with

ginning
beand
"

Becky, part

continuallyfrom one place to


another; there is a whole chapter inserted at the height of
the action which
goes back to an earlier period and brings
the story up to the time of the party. Altogetherthis climax
of

Rawdon

again;we

book

the

pass

is handled

in

undramatic

as

manner

as

possible.
The

of

want

naturallystill
stapleof the book

of interest is

steadycenter

be felt in those passages


the
in which
there is no
development of any
of scenes
beyond a very few pages. In order
to

more

"

effect from
than

refrain

to

steady center

It is necessary

from

recognizethem

as

characters

one

to

group

est
get the greatis necessary
to

person

enough

strong

centers
constituting

who

or

sceqe

of interest,more

shiftingfrom

have

to

"

so

another.
that

we

of interest, persons

take strong hold on


our
feelingsor
whose
role is important enough to make
such

Of

Sharp

and

Dobbin

major
than

and

Amelia,
Rawdon

characters

because

If, then,

through

there

imagination,and
acters.
them
major charin "Vanity Fair" but two, Becky
are
with
the possibleaddition
of Major
Crawley, admitted to the rank of

of their rdle in the story


of their intrinsic interest.
more

these

on

four

account

persons

were

the story, if some


other
one
or
present, so that the action came

followed
of them
to

us

as

steadily
were

variably
in-

part and

parcelof their personalexperience,"Vanity Fair" would


more
nearlymeet the conditions of dramatic narrative. But
this is very far from
is a large
being the case. There
number
of minor
characters, less important in the plot,to
whom
the author
gives his attention from time to time.
in one
less interesting
or
another,
They are more
or
way

DRAMATIC

but

THACKERAY

PRESENT:

167

interesting
enough to stand by themselves, and yet
histories are
given in fairlyregularalternation with

not

their

Such
the old man,
the Osbornes
are
principals.
and
their son
married
Amelia,
Captain George, who
Georgie,togetherwith Maria and Fred Bullock; such are
the Crawleys of Queen's Crawley; the Bute Crawleys, rivals
for the favor of the wealthy Miss Crawley;
of the others
the old Sedleysand Jos; Lord Steyne and the Gaunts.
all these characters Thackeray seems
Toward
to feel an
since they are in his chronicle, he will
equal responsibility;
that

tell

of

"

there

what

us

is

be

to

point where

it comes

wait until

to-morrow

told of them;

and

he

will tell it

which
is gennaturally,
erally
he is saying about
his major
in the midst of what
portance
We
find them
characters.
amusing; we recognizetheir imsocial exhibits; we
as
regard them as acquaintances
what
and are
glad to know
happens to them. But
them, nothing that we
there is nothing important about

at

the

cannot

in

most

to

learn. And

it is

figuressuch

the
gossipinterests,for whom
are
constantlybeing asked to give way.
principals
the prinNot that there is anything so very urgent about
cipals.
of
These
of
not
are
figures tragedy,creatures
destiny.
Their
of
story flows on with the slow, equable movement
It hangs upon
thread and is not going
no
everyday events.
to be decided
by the fatal choices of a night.It is not packed
into the confines of a breathless week, but stringsitself
along diffusely
through many
happenings.
years of minor
is no
There
be solved, but merely the mild
to
mystery
question of what next. So that the reader suffers no great
as

these, who

hardship
or

interest

when

he is asked

in favor

Amelia

us

as

to

Mrs.

of

postpone
Bute

his interest in

Crawley

old

or

Becky

Mr.

Os-

borne.
In

hold

Tolstoy
upon

another

us

whose

in addition

to

each
that
case

of the

one
we

is

cannot

leadingcharacters
bear

to

equallyurgent.

the three

characters

of

takes such

leave him

except for

In "Anna

Karenina"

major

interest there

DRAMATIC

PRESENT:

and

historydetailed
light.It should

be

all the

conceded

TOLSTOY

family
that

169

skeletons

dragged

to

is in his element

Thackeray

of

in this kind

thing,which favors his giftfor social


is more
satire. The
subject-matter
highly colored than that
in Tolstoy'sexpositorypassages, and
finelyflavored with
Thackeray's irony. There is superb writing in these parts
of "Vanity Fair," but it is none
the less true
that we
are
reminded
of the essayist
than the writer of fiction.
more
confined
be

to

generalizationis
in which

those passages
before
understood
to

used

main

of

method

the

But

as

which

do

not

is

drama

just here that the


distinguishedfrom
makes

writer

dramatic

The

is explainedwhat

story

begin. It

can

needs

is

sively
exten-

one
bridging the gulf between
another, giving an idea of developments
lend themselves
dramatic
to
presentation.

it is

And

means

any

of

means

and

scene

the

by

not

writer

with

penchant

the undramatic
the least

for

writer.

possibleuse

of generalized

from

one

period to

to
one
scene
another,
passes from
reference
another, with the slightest
to

what

was

going

in

narrative.

Tolstoy.

Each

He

on

the interval. This

part begins

new

the

in

winter,

one

the

held."

instinct of

period considerably
almost
out
invariablywith-

at

preceding,and
in the midst of
preliminaries,
the

later than

is the

"At

scene.

Schcherbatsky'shouse,

the end

of

consultation

"Princess

that
Schcherbatskyconsidered
of the question for the wedding to take place
it was
out
had been travelling
for
before Lent." "Vronsky and Anna
three months
ried
together in Europe." "Levin had been marthree months.
He was
happy, but not at all in the way
find ourselves planted solidly
he had expected to be." We
was

being

of the

in the midst

new

scene,

in the mind

perhaps of

one

of the characters.
The

why Tolstoy has

reason

events

dramatic

is that he

occasions

might put

manages
stand for the

it this way

"

that he

little occasion

so

to
mass

make

the

of minor

chooses

to

to

marize
sum-

largesingle
events.

We

represent only

those

NOVEL

TWENTIETH-CENTURA

THE

170

dramatic

as
significance;
if he could pay alwaysin largebills and let the small change
that of
then, comparing his procedure with
go. And
Dickens
and Thackeray, we
might say that Dickens deals
large
largelyin small change, which he treats as if it were
bills
that is, he erects
each minor
into a major
event
for
dramatic
occasion. Thackeray too deals largelyin what
Tolstoy would be small change, but he does not treat it as
sions
largebills neglectingto erect it into major dramatic occa-

that have

occasions

major

"

"

or

scenes.

of small
amount
Thackeray an enormous
change. His "Vanity Fair" is an entire composition of little
ing.
happenings illustrative of greed,snobbishness, social climbThere
of these little happenings that not
so
are
many
could be properly presentedscenically,
a quarter of them
and
Thackeray does not seem
willing to leave any of
them
But if they are all to be included, a largenumber
out.
of them
must
necessarilybe presented in sketchy
There

is in

summary.
These
another.

coupleshad

two

young

The

marriages of

both

father

his

by

trembled

friend

rather

Crawley, on
Unable

were

tales

to

relate

to

all Rawdon's

whom

make

Captain Dobbin;
result

an

of

one

their pects
prosand interest

with

for the

to

discussed, and

the greatest frankness


sides. George's marriage was
known
to be made

in life canvassed
on

either

plentyof

that

and

to

Osborne

young

Miss

communication.

hopes depended, stillheld

entry into her

house

in Park

his

her

Lane

out.

fection
af-

nephew and niece had followed her to Brighton.


The
two
wedding partiesmet constantlyin each other's
three nights the gentlemen of an
or
apartments. After two
evening had a little piquet, as their wives sat and chatted
made
apart. This pastime,and the arrival of Jos Sedley,who
his appearance
in his grand open carriage,
and who
played a
few games
Rawdon's
at billiards with
Captain Crawley,replenished
the benefit of that ready
purse somewhat, and gave him
.

money

for which

the greatest

are
spirits

sometimes

at

still.
stand-

SUMMARY

It often
sheer

seems

bulk

NARRATIVE

171

if

overwhelmed
Thackeray were
multiple historyabout which

as

of the

by
he

the

feels

keep us informed. He loses himself in the items


without
making anything of them as story. He can neither
find the energy
reconcile himself to leavingthem
out, nor
them
time to show
to
us
or
properly.It is as if his spirit
with sheer laziness. He
overcome
flagged,as if he were
of the bankruptcy of John Sedley.He
let us know
must
says he is "not going to follow the worthy old stock-broker
through those last pangs and agoniesof ruin through which
refrain from
he passed."And
yet he cannot
naming the
called

to

on

several steps of the process:


him

declared

They

the

at

Stock-Exchange;he

of business; his bills

his house

formal.

house

The

and

his
protested;

were

furniture

of bankruptcy

act

of Russell

Square

sold up, and he and his familywere


thrust
their heads where
to hide
seen,
they might.

seized and
have

we

attitude

It is Osborne's

the

toward

bankrupt

and

daughter which makes the climax of this whole


of fiction is called on
if anywhere, the author
Here
the

us

the barest

with

toward

the

that

all

and

love, her

brutal
that

was

between

over

and

letter from

final award
as

came,

her mother

palelyand

of that
the

had

the
it did

was

only

long gone

and

is

her
.

before.

of ruin,

over

faith

in

in
a

at
so

the

all

declaration
between
the

few

an

took

confirmation

world"
curt

end"
as

her

when

her
the

lines

that all

nature

much

Amelia
the

bankrupt man

and

told her

were

shock
.

calmly.It
had

give

have

we

announcement

of such

been

families
not

ruined,

Square
George"

her and

rather, expected.

presages which

to

[Osborne] comported himself


toward
Sedley which almost succeeded

happiness,her
John Osborne

her father's conduct


between

But

scenes.

affair.

creditors

the great crash came"


departure from Russell

and

all

as

of the facts:

statement

and
scorn
savageness
in breaking the heart

When

of

the form

meetings of

the

At

in

were

away,

his

situation

from

absent

was

gagements
en-

the

parents,

news

of the

very
dark

Amelia

The

letter;

the

not

is lavish of

trouble

show

to

with

impress us

more

At

times

feel

we

of selection.

of
reality

their

if

Thackeray

were

as

if he felt it necessary to
time. In Chapter LVII

characters

his

he

gives us

much

so

simply incapable
from
day to day as
of their

moment

of

sort

take

not

case.

for every

account

does

would

which

scenes

the

follows

He

the

us

for the Sed-

he

tragicfall and disillusion;but

their

Os-

in evidence.

condolence

phrasesof

old

received

letter is offered

the

even

ing
pretense of show-

no

she

when

occasion

the

on

author

leysin

is

perfectlygeneral.There

It is all

borne's

NOVEL

TWENTIETH-CENTURA

THE

172

diary

of the

their return
of Dobbin
and Jos Sedley on
voyage
India. Not
that anything happens that is worth
cording.
re-

ocean

from

The
his

on

chapter the
has, for

some

he

get them

thing

same

is done

good

purpose,
feels he has them

off his hands

Each

turn.

chaptergivesus
first day in London,

next

minor

like the whole

story

at

for

his

on

diaryof
and

the

tivities
ac-

following
Thackeray

of

group

hands; and

disposingof

of the story

the end,

in

Dobbin's

Jos. When

brought

without

division

gether,
people to-

he

each

cannot

in

one

be concluded,

must

what
by telling

happened

to

everybody.
This
stream

in

author

seems

at

times

to

be

along on the
directingthe story

carried

of his story instead of himself


channel.
is like
He
carefullymarked

traveler

scientiously
con-

recording from day to day the progress of the


The
journey and the occupations of his fellow-voyagers.
story carries his characters to Belgium. But you can't get
to
Belgium without
crossingthe Channel, and you can't
the Channel
without
cross
going down the river, and you
first embarking on
can't go down
the river without
ports.
transSo Thackeray embarks
the
you, and takes you down
river and then across
the Channel, duly recording the degree
of your
sea-sickness. In Belgium you
in a city
are
suitable to sight-seeing
and the pursuitof pleasure.
And
so
Thackeray proceeds to record the fact that his characters

SMALL

CHANGE

173

This is
and the pursuitof pleasure.
sight-seeing
Tvhat makes
slow reading of so much
of Thackeray.
eray
It is true that, even
in such generalized
narrative, Thacksometimes
This
be entertaining.
can
ularly,
appliesparticin "Vanity Fair," to whatever
concerns
Becky Sharp.
He is so genuinely interested in this plucky and unscrupulous
adventuress, and in the means
by which she manages
in

engage

make

to

her

of her

in the world, that

way

methods

in the book

has its savor.

even

of the

One

is entirely
taken

with

up

outline

an

ment
state-

ters
longestchap-

historical sketch

vagabond life after the break-up of her marriage with


Rawdon
ance
acquaintCrawley. It shows the most
competent
and of
with Bohemian
life in various European towns
the shifts by which
of tainted reputationmanages
a woman
Above
all the irony of
to clingto the skirts of good society.
of the slightand as it
Thackeray is forever vividlyaware
of
the ways
were
merely technical differences between
ment
good societyand of Bohemia, and the most
cursory stateof some
of Becky's experiencesis pleasantlyspiced
with this irony.
Much
of this is highlyamusing in its way
in somewhat
the way of an essay by Addison
Goldsmith.
But even
or
so,
it is questionablestrategy in a novel
than
to
give more
thousand
of history.
And
it
when
words
seven
to this kind
to old Mr.
comes
Sedley in his decline, and to his worthy
of her

"

and

spouse, to the various landlords


fond of Amelia, and the children
Dobbin

Major
and
"

at

form.

Fred

Glorvina

who

were

of said landladies, and


and

O'Dowd

Maria

much
Bullock, the interest is certainly

least for the

to

Osborne
mild

too

the tiresome
to sustain
present-dayreader
of trifling
detail offered us in the non-dramatic
mass
"Vanity Fair" is like a great sheet of drawing-paper

filled from
sketches

rim

in

to

"

rim, from

of human

of space.

much

and

landladies

common

to

corner

crowded
figures,

They

are

that

exercises

theyare

corner,

close
in

with

charcoal

together for

drawing

and

have

all in illustration of

omy
econ-

this
com-

theme.

mon

NOVEL

TWENTIETPI-CENTURY

THE

174

the lover of

But

for

and
grouping, for subordination
organic principleof composition.

It is worth

while

in

spacing,
for some
perspective,

picturescries

this connection

to

for

out

consider

what

here

again
his practice
with Tolstoy's.Thackeray's chapto compare
ters
the average three or four or five times as long as
are
on
Tolstoy's.Tolstoy'schaptersare almost invariablyconfined
to one
occasion; and very frequentlyseveral chapterswill
be given to the development of successive phases of the
the other hand, are
occasion. Thackeray's chapters,
same
on
almost always omnibus
casions
affairs,in which many
separate ocare
briefly
disposedof.
which
It is difficult indeed
to be sure
rative
portionof the narshould be defined as constituting
occasion, where
an
much
is told in summary
so
implying many occasions, and
in
where
the actual bits of scene
are
so
deeply embedded
Thackeray

does

with

this viscous

mass

of

take
the

chapterslike

his

chapter divisions, and

generalized narrative.
and

XXIV

XXV,

impressionof being present


scene,
at

and

try

to

count

least in their rudiments:

now

the
we

But

in which

and

then

number

we
suppose
do have
we

at

some

of such

find that in these

ticular
parsions,
occa-

two

chaptersalone there are approximately thirtyof them,


In XXIV
though many of them are but sketchilysuggested.
there is one
tween
bewell-developedand reallydramatic scene
Mr.
and
the
Osborne, in which
Captain Dobbin
Captain defends Amelia
againstthe aspersionsof the old
snob and announces
her marriage to George. But then the
narrative loses itself in a series of no-account
fragments of
with
Mr.
scene
clerk, with Ensign
Chopper, Osborne's
Stubble, togetherwith various items of Osborne historytoo
minute
to be listed. In short, it is a chapter made
up of
odds and ends, including one
two
or
good scenes, which

THACKERAY'S

CHAPTERS

175

important,but which are crowded


ter
together in one chapter with a heap of less impressivematwith trifling
detail.
and smothered
confused.
The
following chapter is longer and more
have

might

out

as

those clustered about


groups of scenes,
dinner at Brighton with all our
principalcharacters present
(theyoung Osbornes, the young Crawleys,Dobbin, and

There
a

stood

main

two

are

Jos),and
Crawleys

those

clustered

and

the

about

Bute

narrative.

for

cluster of

the

is nothing

there

of

favor

the

is broken

scenes

bits of "occasion"

And

the Rawdon

rivalryof

Crawleys

wealthy Miss Crawley. Each


into a confusingjumble of
summarized

the

up

embedded
to

in

the

connect

but

of scenes
groups
all take place at

chronology and the fact that they


Brighton. By all natural principlesof
artistic arrangement
they belong in separate chapters.
There
be no
to
planning at all in Thackeray's
appears
in
consider
to
writing of his chapters.He does not seem
is to be the culminating point and just
advance
what
scene
is necessary
in preparationfor this scene;
which
what
tails
detwo

are

to

be subordinated

altogether.He
down

the curtain

much

material

not

to

seem

at
effectively
to

this instalment.
ambles

does

He

cover,

which

and

or

seems

so

to

be

the end

may

be

eliminated

concerned
of the

much

copy to
live from hand

to

act.
turn
to

bring
has

He

so

for

out,

mouth.

He

along pleasantly,
taking his time, plucking here
and

flower

there

thing

One

leads

wholesome
to

another.

herb.
If

character

is mentioned,

he stops to tell you about


him. If he finds that something
been
has not
in a
explained, he stops to explain. Once
while

his conscience

troubles

him.

"Our

historyis destined

and forward
in a very irresolut
chapter to go backward
manner
our
seemingly,and having conducted
story
shall
tomorrow
to
presently,we
immediately again have
that the whole
occasion to step back to yesterday,
so
of the
tale may
get a hearing."I have italicized the final phrase.
that the whole
concerned
of the
too
Thackeray is much

in

this

XVI

DRAMA:

SUBJECTIVE

I
r

the

"drama"

words

leave

out

those

words

of

definition
with

they

the

that

are

strikingly

in

of

course,

"of

or

having

is

the

qualities of,
add

word

appropriate
vivid;

"Vivid"

excitement

further

"That

drama,

unexpected
In

plot,

all
that

resolution
on

this

is, the
make

action;

which

one

Dostoevski

of
and

full

account

conjunctions,

of

or

events

action,

movements

mind

Tolstoy

are
a

or

appropriate

laid

177

look

we

for

matic,"
"drathe

to

action

or

ture,
ges-

denouement."
features

on

of
and

complication
of

the

gestures

objectified. Now,
sufficient

If

is

striking

of

movement,

synonyms

framework

of

action."

of

whose

the

But

with

surprise.

emphasis

the

objective

is, the

to,

qualities

the
if

as

or

which

external

means,

explanation

"having

with

dramatic

the

that

states

further

suspense,

the

notes

more

appropriate

suggesting vividly expressive

as

esp.

notations
con-

out

come

confusion.

from

drama,

incident,

is

story

The

"Dramatic"

in

people

under

issue

content

is,

that

action.

drama;

free

two

or

the

of

drama."

simple,

most

play,

the

the

to

or

primary

be

moment

"dramatic."

expressed
of

find

we

to

for

means

confuse

the

For

and

dialogue

pertaining

or

is

drama;

of

adjective,

everything

dictionaries
what

form

is

ignore

connotations

the

drama

using

am

that

senses

used.

for

may

likely to

the

the

far

we

that

dominant

commonly

are

"play."

in

in

certain

"drama"

of

readers

some

"dramatic"

account

its synonym

So

to

and

as

presented

occurred

have

MUST

JAMES

provision

also

story;

by

there
of

of

means

is

plot

in
for

the

NOVEL

TWENTIETH-CENTURY

THE

178

ordinary serious reader; enough happens, and

enough

in suspense, to hold the attention of readers


primarilyinterested in story, providedthey are not
the dominant
childish in their mentality.But

remains
are

of these Russians
and

gesture

so

much

positively
terest
in-

objectivedrama of plot
subjectivedrama of spiritual

in the

is not
in the

as

who

states.

subjectiveand objectiveaspects of the story cannot


well be separated;one
is the necessary complement of the
other. But the primacy of the subjectivein these Russian
into comnovelists will be vividlyrealized if we bring them
parison
The

with

Smollett

Scott, or

or

Balzac, Zola,

with

even

of such slight
motivation
seems
Hardy, in all of whom
importance relativelyto the hard facts, the irreducible
objectivecircumstances, which make the substance of the
or

narrative.
And

yet it is Dostoevski

"dramatic"

ideal

in

I choose

whom

the

than

rather

novel

illustrate the

to

of

any

these

English writers. And this because of his superior


concentration.
command
of the technique of dramatic
is plenty of action in Smollett, but it is rambling
There
and dispersed,too
broken
much
up into stringsof mere
is in Scott
episodes,to give the effect of drama. There
plenty of heroic action, plenty of noble and histrionic gesture,
French

or

and

grouped

in

some

rare

and

centered

and

cumulative

cases,

such

in such

power

of drama.

and in general there


exceptional,
far too much
historyin Scott, to make
in

the

In

vast

Hardy

the

defeat

the

So

that

our

Balzac, drama

is

an

is

too

But

pactness
com-

"Ivanhoe"

little form

his novels

occasional

it is all

give the

to

as

way

is

dramatic.

"Ivanhoe,"

as

and

effectively

happy

accident

Humaine.
In
expositorysea of his Comedie
tanglements
"unexpected conjunctions,"the complicatedenresolutions
and surprising
of plot,too
often
dramatic
for which
devised.
they were
purpose
ideal
best example of the essentially
dramatic

in the novel

is found

to

be

writer

who

is

more

than

ordi-

DRAMA

SUBJECTIVE
with

narilyconcerned
Another

the

of his characters.

states
spiritual

lurks in the word

of confusion

source

179

tive."
"subjec-

"Subjective"is often used to designatefiction which


and philosophyof the
is highly colored by the sentiment
jective
author
directlyexpressed.Thus
Fieldingwould be a subof

problems
more

he

because

writer

conduct

discusses

brought

Thackeray, Meredith,

so

of

"Death

would

Hero"

the

because

novel

his

readers

the

still
up by his story; and
Wells. Richard
Aldington's

be in this

author

with

sense

devotes

againstthe Victorian
But, generallyspeaking,this kind

satirical tirades

tive
highlysubjec-

whole

way
of

to

pages
of life.

his

which
subjectivism,

tinctly
into the story, is disideal in the novel. It is

consists in the intrusion

of the author

opposed to the dramatic


cultivated by the French
opposed to the ideal of objectivity
less prominent in
is in general much
naturalists, and
and Russian
novelists than in English.It is almost
French
stoy's
Karenina," in spiteof Tolcompletelywanting in "Anna
philosophicalpenchant. It is quite opposed to the
It is not present
spiritof Turgenev, of Gorki, of Chekhov.
in Dostoevski, for the simple reason
that he has found
of presentinghis philosophydramatically.
means
then, be it understood, is here used in the
"Subjective,"
of being concerned
with the states of mind
of the
sense
because he is more
characters. Dostoevski
is subjective
cerned
conwith
how

But

limited
is

no

back

can

author
of

the

these

last

novel

the action

drama?
subjective

"

and

"

itself.

Stage drama

gestures of the characters.

explain the mental


objectivemanifestations
with

the abandonment

novels

at

is dramatic

is it

not

the

that the author

all,is it

not

is

There

processes
that is the

lying
first

of soliloquy,

disappears.If
vestigeof subjectivity

novel

But

with

to

of drama

and

there

talk of dramatic
that

the

talk of

we

than

of action

the words

to

condition

to

motives

necessary

justin proportion to

we

to

are
cede
con-

its objectivit

feature of
prime distinguishing
is there to explain?And
might

NOVEL

TWENTIETH-CENTURY

THE

i8o

be
that the proper line of the novel would
in its sharpdifferentiation from the objective
techniqueof
not

conclude

one

drama?
There

the

be

can

narrator

between

playand
and

more

has

of the characters, and

words

and

largerand

devoted

be

to

eral
gen-

tended

has

novel

on

to

larger

the mental

less
proportionately

their

to

gestures.

here

we

of

important distinction

most

what

in his

to

come

states

methods

the

that
subjective,

more

proportion of space

But

it is obvious,

the novel. And

of its evolution, that

survey
grow

"

determines

"

the

that the presence of the author


differences
certain fundamental

doubt

no

presentingmental

states.

tween
be-

the undramatic

and

call the dramatic

may

be drawn

must

the author

Whenever

of
his characters' states
expatiates
upon
method, since we are
mind, he is followingan undramatic
then conscious
of the author standingbeside his characters
own

person

the stage, and our


attention
and him.
method
The
dramatic

is divided

on

projectthe characters' states


explanation.It is of course
words

which

describe

effort is,in
his words
mental

so

far

the

mere

process.

as

He

be undramatic, and
he

But

is

agent in the
is capableof
and

wholeness

He

is

even

none

the

is

simply

of mind,

without

the author

who

of mind

in

state

author

present,
comment

to
or

choosing the
question,but his
is

the dramatic

ideal, to make

uncolored

medium

renderingthe

does

authorial
the

of which

"

less the
his

for

characterize

not

he

it

would

reproducesit.

author,

character's

the character

capable,like Dostoevski

that

"

indispensable

an

subject.Being

presentinga largepart of his own


of the states
by an arrangement
The

to

them

he follows

rendering of
visioninghis

of characters

between

mind

the author, he

with

is himself
or

Thomas

clearness

incapable.
Mann,

of

philosophyof life,simply
of mind

of

certain

ber
num-

reactingto a certain set of circumstances.


is author, again,by virtue of his power over

DRAMA

SUBJECTIVE
words.

He

is

his characters
and

warmth

181

capableof rendering the mental processes of


with a precision
and nicety,with a subtlety
of coloringof which
capable
inare
they themselves

ceiving
granting the specialabilityof the author for conand
putting into words the mental states of his

But

characters,his great ambition

by

the dramatic
author

between

of interest

and

is, in

ideal,

nated
is domi-

does

He

undramatic

are

the

which

make

the character

wish

not

to

be

sayingclever
wishes instead to read himself right
of the character, to identifyhimself
into the consciousness
him
in impression,
with
feeling,outlook, to reproduce
of tone
the character's reaction
with absolute
to
fidelity
sistently
everything in his experience.He wishes to give,as coninside rather than an outside view
as
an
possible,
of things.And
it will be realized that this is to make
the
narrative highlysubjective.
and at the same
the narrative subjective,
It is to make
dramatic.
time it is to make
it,in a very significant
sense,
of direct presentation,
dramatic
method
is the method
The
of being present, here
and aims to give the reader the sense
in the scene
is why those elements
and now,
of action. That
caught standingapart
thingsabout him. He

from

he

any distinction
sion
might lead to a divi-

which

them.

between

as

obliterate

to

character

far

so

obviously a

But

us

certain

amount

order
Some

and
description
to
to

be able
know

to

what

accomplishedin

aware

and

the characters

any story: there are some


the scenes
to understand

to

and

author

explaining
and characterization
description,
things:exposition,
by
and senauthor, psychological
timentalizin
analysis,
philosophizing
about

want

of

and

they are

the

events.

of

sary
expositionis necesknow
in
thingswe must
at

which

characterization

vizualize the

an

we
are

settingand

are

necessary: we
the characters

like. Well, all these

playwithout

intervention

present.

thingsare
on

the part

NOVEL

TWENTIETH-CENTURA

THE

i8s

Descriptionis dispensedwith by the physical


veyed
Expositionand characterization are both constage setting.
through the dialogueand action of the characters.

of the author.

There

to

are,

be

sure,

distinct limits

to

what

can

be done

the
and that is what makes
through these objectivemeans,
cruder
and
thinner
a
play,generallyspeaking,so much
of life. Everything
for the thoughtfuldelineation
medium
conventionalized.
has to be so rigorouslysimplifiedand
word
of words
One
stand in the play for the score
must
intention.
which
the novelist may
wiselyuse for the same
And

it

be

must

connotation

as

word

as

silver dollar.

in

unmistakable
The

meaning

and

presented must

types

recognizedby every one in the


theater, from the most
thoughtful"highbrow" to the most
unreflective groundling.It is true
that such disadvantages
are
amply compensated for by the immediacy of appeal to
It is,moreover,
the supreme
ear.
triumph of the
eye and
artist,like Ibsen and Pirandello, to succeed, with
literary
such
crude
appeal
implements, in combining dramatic
be

such

with

as

subtle

in favor

can

be

at

intellectual

of the drama

thin

once

medium

effects. But

it remains

by

the

after all has been


it is

that

true

said

comparatively
fact of its complete and

mere

inveterate

objectivity.
Thus
we
are
brought back
subjectivedrama in the novel.
that immediacy of effect which
to

eye

and

of

ear.

It

must

the

to

seeming paradox

our

The

novel

derives
be

content

can

never

of

attain

from

the direct peal


apwith
the fainter

pensation,
imagination.By way of comit may
more
cover
infinitely
ground, may go in
for comment
and explanationwhich
not
are
possibleto the
of intellectual
stage play.The novel has, accordingly,
largemeans
appeal specialto itself. It may have a richness and
subtletyquite beyond the scope of drama.
and explanationtend to weaken
aginativ
the imOnly, comment
the story one
appeal;they tend to remove
degree
farther from direct experience.The
novelist is thus landed

immediacy

appeal to

CONSCIOUSNESS

DRAMATIZING

in

dilemma.

How

losingthat

intellectual

out
with-

"dramatic"

keep his story


appeal which

he

can

183

is

peculiarto

his

form?
is

There

solution

one

for this

which

problem

has

been

seized upon
by novelists with the passingof
of the characters as
the years. It is to use
the consciousness
the author
What
for explanationand comment.
a medium
and

more

more

propria persona is formal and official. It is often


necessity.
necessary, and acceptedby us like any other practical
of a piece with the story. What
But it is not
goes on
of the characters on
in the minds
is another
a given occasion
tells

in

us

matter.

the aim

is of the

of the author

novelist's
mind

That

is

problem

of his character
the

author

and

actuallythere.

The

the character's

mind.

In

been

who
so

at

to
a

of the story itself.And


has chosen
this solution for the
essence

present what
and

have

we

sense

has been

of action

in the

going on

that

given moment

ourselves
scene

is

shall forget
of

being

transferred

to

the process of experimenting with this method, it has


of the information
found
that much
which
was

formerlypassed on by the author can be gathered directly


by the reader from the character's thoughts,thus dispensing
official explanations.
largelywith undramatic
very
What
the author
tells us, in a formal paragraph of characterization,
is likelyto be a lumpish mass
of items. It is
What
heavy and solid and authoritative, but hard to digest.
most
helps us to form an idea of a character is of course
he says and does, the emotional
situation in which
he
finds himself. Such
others
thingsspeak for themselves. What

what

say of the character is another


him to us. It fitsin at once

situation, and
if

is

easilylodged

people disagreeabout

powerfulmeans
with
in

our

him,

the

of

lating
trans-

general dramatic

imagination,especially
confess

their

uncer-

INTRODUCING
upon her at the time
visit to friends.

made
a

had

Milly Theale
recent
making;
a
a

she

when

Boston

to

up

visit

on

and

they were,

as

that her

understood

was

185

came

friends, such

Boston

it

and

CHARACTER

THE

of

them"

to

had been undertaken, after


be meagre"
in the interest of the particular
series of bereavements,
peace
visit that

that

there

that

enough,

in the

this

give; but

important

truth

of life,or
discipline

the

under

give. It was
recognized,liberally
too
things"perhaps even
manymany

were

could

York

New

couldn't

York

New

to

not

was

that

as

such

some

of assistance.

measure

forget"for

the

had

moment

what

had

ference
dif-

no

most

reallyto

was

do,

to

feel your

help you to that as nothing


Milly,by every presumption,
Mrs. Stringham was
to
never
faded,

not

make

to

you

of death,

could
grave. Boston
to
else could, and it had extended
situation

felt

was

the

nor

in any degree ceased"


then unheralded
the strikingapparition,

her

fine
infinitely
first

sight of
and unexplained: the
slim, constantlypale, delicatelyhaggard, anomalously, agreeably
of
than
not
more
angular young person,
two-and-twenty
of
whose
her
hair
in
somehow
marks,
was
ceptionally
exsummers,
spite
reel even
it innocentlyconfor the real thing,which
fessed
clothes were
whose
to being, and
remarkably black even
die meaning they expressed.
for robes of mourning, which
was
New
York
York
New
It was
hair, it was
a
mourning, it was
it set

vibration

confused
history,

York

New

up

multitudinous,

yet, but

as

loss of parents, brothers, sisters,almost


with a sweep
scale and
all on
a

own

of

the

every human
that

appendage,
required the

had

York
of romantic
a New
legend of affecting,
greater stage; it was
in
isolation, and beyond everything,it was
by most
accounts,

respect
of New

the

to

York

rich, and

was

of money
so
She was
possibilities.
mass

in

was
particular

piledon

the

alone, she

strange"

girl'sback,

was

combination

only occupied with


her, and

now

she

obeying the
it"

in itself
Susan

to

nature

no

one

had

her

quite the

instinct
would

seeing Boston

to

finest

conceal

understand.

moment

of her

the vision. She

seeingher,

She
.

set

stricken,she

was

Mrs.
Stringham's attention.
engage
privatelysettled it that Boston was not in the least

of

was

ing
see-

life in

couldn't

plain
ex-

Now,

NOVEL

TWENTIETH-CENTURY

THE

i86

readers

many

will

think

that

necessary
have been

formati
in-

models.

do

the

veyed
conregard to Milly Theale might
shorter paragraph,or that in a paragraph
in a much
information
of this length much
more
might have been
conveyed. And this is perhaps the place to state candidly
that Henry James is not a popular writer, and that a large
number
of the most
and
even
discriminating
intelligent
readers remain
incurablyimpatient of his way of tellinga
his later novels, simply
at
story, and after a trial or two
decline to give further time to him. They find him
fussy
and
long-winded. And there is no use trying to convert
into devotees. Other
them
readers, like myself,while extremely
fond of Henry James, are equallyfond of novelists
metrical
who, like Hardy for example, proceed on lines almost diaopposed to those James follows, and we do not

in

wish

to

set

up

condemn

not

unlike

either
one

him, any

Baudelaire
The

of them

exclusive

as

novelist because
more

because

we

than
admire

admire

we

we

another
the

condemn

We

very
poetry of

that of Lamartine.

attention
to the
more
why I give so much
of James than to that of Hardy is because he repremethod
sents
certain procedures which
been
have
gaining ground
or
fortyyears, because he has had
during the last thirty-five
such

reason

an

incalculable

influence

on

other

novelists

in

the

of

than any
technique,so that he occupies more
other
a
pivotal position in the development of the
novel. And
then, in spiteof his eccentricities,
twentieth-century
matter

his

excesses,

illustration of certain

his mannerisms,

he

is

remarkable

of esthetics which
one
no
principles
afford altogetherto ignore.Thomas
can
Hardy may be in
certain ways the finest English novelist of his time, but he
might have learned a great deal from Henry James.
of Milly Theale, we
Returning to the characterization
that James vouchsafes
note
small number
of
a
relatively
items of information
about her. They could all be
concrete
summed
she was
pale and slim; she had
up in a sentence:

A C TERIZA

CHAR

TION

187

black mourning clothes;


strikingly
she had lost all her relatives and was
fabulouslyrich.
have given us
of his earlier stories James would
In one
of facts about her, includingperthree times that number
haps
tune.
notation, a la Balzac, of the exact
a
figureof her forin the meantime
But
to realize that
James has come
it is more
important to choose the facts than to assemble

strikingred

them

and

He
quantity.
capacity,a

in

limited

point

hair

the

facts

cease

knows
low
to

that the mind

of

reader

After
a
saturation-point.
knows
that
He
register.

has

certain
what

is

their number,
important than the facts themselves
their size and specific
gravity is the impressionthey make
determines
the impresthe reader's imagination.What
on
sion
for the reader is not merely the facts but the way they
the meaning they carry.
are
lighted,
more

"

"

And

James

lightingthem
is

to

be

has

discovered
within

from

romantic

heroine

the
the
not

effectiveness

enormous

story itself.

merdy

Milly

because

Theale

of her

liness,
love-

her great wealth, but because


the extraordinaryappeal she makes
number
to a small
her

of

loneliness, and

of
of

discriminatingpersons. The first of these is Susan Stringham.


Though a New Englander, Susan is not a Bostonian,
than the excellent people
in Milly Theale
and can
see
more
of Boston, who
reaved
are
capable of doing everythingfor the bewoman
except appreciateher specialquality.
young
It is only Susan
Stringham in that citywho has the kind of
imaginativeinsightto take in the full "value" of Milly's
and
give due place in the total effect to her
personality,
York
New
mourning, her New York hair, and the legendary
and material
megalopolitanscale of her bereavement
Thus
die few expressivestrokes of objective
endowment.
characterization
and effective by the
made
are
significant
background of subjective
coloringon which they stand out.
But
that in generalJames likes to leave much
note
to
the imaginationof the reader, and that Milly in particular
is

character

about

whom

he

wishes

to

trace

sort

of

i88

glamorous margin
clearingup

lure the reader


aside

And

on

from

it is

Moreover,

of haziness.

of the

one

thingsshould always be
a later point in the story, if only to
the bait of curiosity.
that certain

features of his method


left for

NOVEL

TWENTIETH-CENTURY

THE

at

with

has

all this, James

for slow

fondness

expositionand
food
wish us to gobble our
characterization.
does not
He
and risk an indigestion
of mere
tion
knowledge. In this connecis a little puzzledby his discipleship
of many
one
years
is
factual of novelists,Balzac. One
to that most
objectively
leisurelyunfolding of facts, both

and

led

even

wonder

to

it is

whether

not

in

tion
fascina-

of the

case

in his best work


larly
particuopposites.
James was never
with objectivedetail. And
throughout his
generous
of
for the small amount
later period he was
remarkable
"solid" fact which
he made
to serve.
Every hard pelletof
information
is swimming in a bath of the digestive
juices

of

of reflection and
It is the very

appreciation.
oppositeof the method
and

page bristles with numerous


serried phalanx. In historywe
each

much

too

information.

of

ponderablefacts

feel that

object is

Our

which

in
history,

can

we

to

in

never

have

In

fiction,

know.

and what counts


is not
appreciate,
of facts but the degree to which
the number
have been
we
made
them. James believes in a slow tempo in
to live with
the "release" of these facts,a tempo determined
by that of

our

objectis to

the

reflective

emerges

feel and

process
for the reader

out
some

of

which

item

of

from

time

time

to

objectiveinformation.

3
This
as

for the

principleholds

for characterization.

is
James's method
given occasion, brooding over

character,on

in which

finds himself.

he

antecedent
it

general expositionas

were

by

circumstances
accident.

Whatever
comes

given fact

out,

we

is referred

introduce

to

the situation

learn

in the

well

about

the

beginning,as
to

"

or,

better,

EXPOSITION

189

background of the
person'sthought. James's effort is to give it for the reader
and implied in the menair ot something known
the same
tal
it has for the character. Perhaps no better
process which
example of this can be found than the opening paragraph
Ambassadors"
of "The
(1903).
alluded

to

first

Strether's

in the

it is there

because

"

he

question,when

the

reached

hotel,

was

his

learning that Waymarsh was


parently
aptill
he
arrive
certed.
disconnot
was
not
to
wholly
evening
him
A telegram from
"only if not
bespeaking a room
noisy,"reply paid, was produced for the inquirerat the office,
Chester
rather
that the understanding they should
at
meet
so
that extent
sound.
The
than at Liverpool remained
to
same
about

his friend; yet

secret

however,
principle,
desire

to

thus

led him

to

on

Waymarsh's
him

operated to make
disappointment.They
all respect

shouldn't

as

of

the

much

so

would
this

there

would

two

be

first "note"

dock, that

had

of it,

enjoyment

still wait

could

without

together at the worst, and,


ter,
Waymarsh" if not even, for that matlittle fear that in the sequel they

old
was

other. The

been,

wholly

men,

principleI

with

the

it would

be

to

the

find

comrade's
he

have

just
embarked
dis-

newly

most

instinctive"

into his
separation,
trifle bungled should

fruit

of

himself

ing,
look-

ness
face, his busi-

simply

present itself to the nearing

to

countenance

the
at
presence
few hours his

solutely
ab-

not

dine

that, delightfulas

sense

after

dear

Strether

prompted

feel he

enough of each
operating had

see

mentioned

sharp

to

himself"

to

for

postpone

now

with

had

that

arrange

steamer

as

for
the

of

with everything was


the appreEurope. Mixed
hension,
already,on Strether's part, that it would, at best,
gree.
throughout, prove the note of Europe in quite a sufficient de-

begin with

We

who

he

landed

was.

in

Waymarsh.
landed
one

in

of the

We

begin

England,
We

himself,

Strether

are

England,

the

at
not

but

thingsthat

with

the way

thought

told
we

in

infer

determined

with

not

he
of

an

account

felt,when

first

his friend

meeting

so

many

words

as

much,

since

his

he

of

We
feeling.

that
that
are

he
was

not

THE

igo

NOVEL

TWENTIETH-CENTURA

we
simply infer from
Waymarsh was;
Strether's feeling that there was
something about him
it disagreeable
made
one's first impression
which
to have
of the Old World
spoiledby the sightof him. We are not

this

who

told

from,

he came
of person Strether was, where
like back
his life was
there, nor
why he had

told what
what

sort

come

abroad.

of these

to

of time

course

about

told much

never

any
learn all that

we

process of inference from what


what he has to say to other people.

mostly by

know,

thinks

Strether

are

we

in due

But

matters.

need

we

himself

the author

By

from

and

in the Old World.


"business"
gather that he has some
like
learn something, a little later, of what he looked
We
to
a
lady whose acquaintance he picked up in the hotel
thoughts,of "a
lobby.We have intimations, from his own
timacy
certain person" who
might not have approved of the inWe

which

so

itself between

established

soon

and

him

Gostrey. It is clear that Waymarsh does not


of "Europe," and in the second chapter we
much
approve
about him
learn more
by followingStrether's impressions
and
about
him
of him
as
they talk together in
cogitations
in Waymarsh's hotel room,
the gas-light
Waymarsh sitting
in trousers
and shirt on the edge of his couch.
One
the
thing to be observed in all this is how infallibly
general information has its pertinencein relation to the
have before us, and seems
occasion which
to
we
particular
its introduction only in so far as it has such relation.
justify
this Maria

reader

The

learns what

knows

author

say, in Walter

story

it and

is there

Scott

but because

happens to

This
"The

Lambert

be

Massachusetts,who
a

Newsome.

certain

"

to

whose

is
has

a
come

know

to

give it

thinkingabout

Strether

Ambassadors"
of

needs

he

because

not

him

to

"

as,

certain character
the

view

magazine
abroad

matters
we

are

editor
on

an

the

let

us

in the

in

question.
followingin
of

Woollett,

errand

half
in be-

wealthy lady of that town, a widow named


Her son Chad has long been living
in Paris, and

SUBJECTIVE
she thinks

he

it time

as

if there

were

of Woollett
is "no

better

his

"

"

If

liaison.

Such

to

contrary

in

the

not

the system

it is

which

the

so

"done"

at

the

are

all unless

from

what

him

and

other

if

are

Strether's

of

most

the

and

for the

Gostrey stands

"Woollett"
for

more

tone

to

is

that

ten.
is writterms

themselves

to

the

of the occasions
all

his

subject

of the characters'

to

them

in

his

in conversation

putting

it has its great


with

life.

gather these primary


out

mean

is the

of

tion
exposi-

before

the

advantages

so-called

ponderab
im-

quality of the character's


the meaning and value he

reaction
subtle

vulgar

abstract

inefficient method

the

his

of book

feelingand approach to life,and


Ambassadors"
attaches to the given facts. In "The
attention is given to Waymarsh
why so much
stands

who

person

consider

"allusion"

concerned
"

aginatio
the im-

implied in his
thought he is forever
self
imagined tellinghimare

actuallycomes
people.

story

It

exposition.But
is entirely
terms

and

any

not

us

exposition is taken to
the ponderable facts. But
we

Paris.

facts of his conscious

in the

leave

is certainly
a slow

This

if what

dpes

must

thoughts,or

reader

primary

it is done

from

between

on

be

cannot

who

author,

sort

they present
Strether

he

either

facts

this

that these bald

but

consciousness,

own

abstract

up to us. They
all the time. In his

things which
And

and

in which

alludingto them,

to

understanding

opened

process

seems

to

loose from

him

pry

which

of Lambert

by

He

be." So that Strether's errand

to

on

reason:

terms

consciousness

mental

nothing but

be

bald

these

for this

And

on

try

and

and

case,

the

inherited.

has

offered

idleness
in the

can

charge of

in that business

is successful, the

he

them

state

are

to

he

Mrs. Newsome.
shall marry
the facts to be set forth in the
are

Strether

to

is

embassy

it

191

take

to

which

woman

she should

than

back

coming

was

largemanufacturing business
has shown
no
signsof interest
prefer the life of cultivated
looks

JAMES

DRAMA:

to

and

the

is that he

life;whereas
more

son
rea-

Maria

liberal way

of

XVII

POINT

earlier

AN

the

among
dramatic

The

elements

the

Now;
of

limited
In

of
like

novels

to

be

in

generally
the

point

its truth

that

anything
us

know

process
is

just
of

how

he

coming
is

place
it

as

to
a

engaged

of

point

of

idea

esthetic

to

know

part
in

he
his

the

setting
193

be

not

which

forth.

he

the

story

restricted

writes

If he

present,

not

an

relates
he

this

and
did

as

voucher

is the

meaning.

was

whole

Thus

ing
purport-

of

He
he

action,

the

"Green

narrative,

knowledge,

things
of

and

other

character

of its

when

came

the

character.

the

in

interpreter

took

incorporated

which

the

now

person

the

necessarily

must

this central

participant

and

drama,

the

"Kidnapped,"

central

first person,
of

ter
"cen-

distinguished.

be

Gold"

the

by

view

and

eye-witness
for

of

of

the

implies

cannot

of

Arrow

the

dramatic
the

in

as

the

outcome

tion
limita-

the

particular

Esmond,"

"Henry

composed

in

The

Here;

restriction

idea

one

technique

"The

Mansions,"

so.

interest.

the

cases

elements

two

of

dramatic

this

or

logical

of

attention,

finally,the

center

many

the

is

something

play.

effect

the

the

its full

this

novel

the

in

present

the

of

concentration

the

in

secure

place,

realization

dramatic

to

is listed

view

of

discussing why

produce

of

And,
to

for

were

particular people

carries

the

the

concentrates

here.

present

make
we

to

to

limitation

these

point

dramatic

tends

interest"

upon

view

desire

JAMES

restricted

impulsion
the

to

time

of

to

It is time

the

equivalent

in

that

fundamental
is

VIEW:

the

chapter

ideal.

general

OF

lets
very

witness

personal experience

any

the narrative

when

Even

character

one

holds

identifyourselves

with

with

the hero

of

share

is

the

time

length of

eyes, we
to which

have

we

him,

children

as

We
fairy-story.

point of view,

his

the third person, if


of the stage for an appreciab

given in

center

see

tendency to
identifythemselves

strong

things through

him;

is the

Such

at

with

case

"Crime

and

by hope

disapproves;

Punishment."

and

view

pens
hap-

sense

some

any rate, he is interested in it


and suspense; he approves
fear,by curiosity
or
he interprets
for us.
to

his

restricted.

moment

of it in

most

point of

it is his

and

less for the

the story is more


or
happens he sees; and

What

NOVEL

TWENTIETH-CENTURA

THE

194

have

We

the

the book, not


general impression,on putting down
only that it is Raskolnikov's
story but that it is told from
ference
difhis point of view. And
yet there is a very considerable
between
his method
and that of James in his later
of the point of view has evidently
novels, where the matter
been
the subjectof much
careful attention.
more
The
of interest and
relation between
center
point of
view

is in

"Crime

Punishment"

and

James's early novel

"The

story of

business

young

of

one

our

of

Frenchwoman

standing among
in

strange

battle

who

men

like

wishes

noblesse, but
the

dark

finds
with

repugnance

to

into

at

the

same

time

himself

gaged
en-

relations,
an

"business."

ble
invinciIt

is

an

charming comedy of
theme
of James's the conthat ever
recurrent
trast
on
American
and
European attitudes and stylesof
effect there is nothing
In general qualityand

absorbingstory, and
manners

marrying

is the

a
marry
and social

her

who, though attracted by his great wealth, have

in

to

personaldistinction
in

that

(1877).This

American"

rare

old

the

about

"

of
behavior.

unlike Dostoevski, and

I have

brought this novel into


the discussion simply to illustrate a point of technical likeness
notable
in this period of James's writing than
more
later. The
through a series
story is beautifullyconducted
of well-developed
the cen"scenes," and almost invariably
more

"THE

AMERICAN"

195

tral character is Christopher


Newman.
"The

American"

is

good

as

"Crime

as

James

here

for the restricted

and

fails

an

Punishment."
show

to

point of

In this respect, then,


centration
example of dramatic con-

view

like

But

that meticulous
which

he does

toevski,
Dos-

concern

in his

show

later novels.
In each

the book

beginsby introducingthe central


character in the objectivebiographicalmanner.
"On
an
hot evening in July a young
out
exceptionally
man
came
of the garret in which
he lodged in S. Place and walked
slowly,as though in hesitation,towards K. bridge.""On a
brilliant day in May, of the year 1868, a gentleman was
recliningat his ease on the great circular divan which at
that period occupied the centre
of the Salon Carre, in the
Museum
of the Louvre."
You
have only to compare
these
with the opening sentence
statements
of "The
dors,"
Ambassaent
given in the last chapter,to see what a totallydifferof facts is implied.In the later
system of communication
novels we start immediatelyinside the particular
situation,
at

case

particularmoment,

involved.

In

as

"Crime

and

it presents itself to the person


Punishment"
and
"The
American,"

the authors

mony
approach the situation with all the cereof the expositorymethod,
in which
be
to
we
are
from
without
of the
regularlyinformed
by the narrator
time and the placeand the physical
action or attitude of the

yet unnamed
author's business
as

In

"The

individual, whom

give us

to

American"

general account

of

four

good

many

And

throughout the

from

half

and
with

thingson
page

solid pages

sort

which

book

of

there

his

never
are

was,

of persons
in generalto blocks of information
assimilate

it

to

to

physicalappearance

includinga
reflected.

scattered

passages,

seyeral pages long,devoted


and places,to characterization

to

the

himself

to

little attempt

be

devoted

are

he

man

he had

then

of.

account

ChristopherNewman,

his habits, the

an

it will

to

tions
descrip-

of persons,
given in the lump,

the

specialmental

TWENTIETH-CENTURY

THE

196

for the

manages
certain

most

avoid

to

part

ment,"
Punish-

and

Dostoevski, in "Crime

of Newman.

process

NOVEL

passages of this
the craft, though

to
expedientslong known
often used by novelists dominated
more
by the dramatic
ideal. A large part of the necessary expositionof this sort
is conveyed by means
of letters received
by Raskolnikov
other character in
and by narratives made
to him
by some
sort

by

the

course

of conversation.

keep

to

When

it

occurring
passages necessarily
which
devoted
the book
to the
are

through

of

the

central

closelyidentified

be

very
emotional

excitement

we

with

So

of the

him.
book

contagiousis

that

of view

of Raskolnikov.

of the author
which
he

closer examination

On

behind

his character,

the character

does

the

pression
im-

the

point

is aware

one

ready to explainthings

understand.

not

the

have

w,e

and rigorously
from
alwayspresentedstrictly

not

to

the very soul of this man.


processes in question are

up within
of fact, the mental

matter

feel ourselves

character,

being shut

of
a

those

to

comes

there

and

reflections

As

more

character.

central

here

So that in this respect he manages


within
the point of view of the
strictly

"It

not

was

that

of
understood, but he felt clearlywith all the intensity

sensation.

." The

had

cared

to

indeed.

think

." The
.

been

Dostoevski

"

author

would

this

who

been

dispositionto

frequentlyenough
make

would

alert. It is

but

"

to

it is

have

go
a

the

if his
not

"If he

been

amazed

state

of mind

thinking faculties
marked

behind

feature

the mental

feature that shows

distinguishhim

shibboleth

distinction.

explainswhat

have

little more

of his character

writers

makes

little,he

of his character
had

author

from

those

of the consistent

of

process
itself
later

point of

view.

Henry

James

had

twenty years before


There
consistency.

American,"

been
he

are

took

many
of the uniform

writing-novels

for

this last step toward

more

than

dramatic

in "The
partial
anticipations,
of his later novels.
subjectivity

POINT

there

But
that

is also

become

shall

we

the character; and


as

with

one

...

better what,

know

to

with

him."

had

fallen

out

mere

or

gave
do; he

to

his

at

go.

to

was

spirit
"

hurt

them."

here

touches

had

of

and

annoyed,

yet

it

of will

"

what

it

course

it aloud

he would
he would

of the

suddenly

had

charity

in the background

was

say; but
let the

pretend to

he

what

Christian

was

matter

lous,
partlyincredu-

do it: the bottom

Whether

the

said, was

need

supposed

remembered

he

as

ner,
man-

his hero.

be

biographer may

groan

behind

hadn't

fallen, and
have

point,

openest

disagree with

to

he would

I don't

going

in the

does

not

his

to

of his revenge.
human
weakness

thought was that


If he had spoken

want

as

having meant

of his

last

he

"He

meant

often

full license

in love, but

fall

to

this he

flattered himself

"He

of the author's

aware

197

greater likelihood, at any

much

JAMES

VIEW:

OF

have

Newman's

Bellegardes

said he didn't

interesting
points
of psychology the difference between
the feelings
of which
is conscious
in taking a certain positionand
the
a
man
fundamental
to
him, which
motives, generallyunknown
lie behind
the conscious
feelings.
James, however, was not
do anything with
this
to
American,"
prepared, in "The
with
consideration, and he did nothing more
interesting
it than to touch upon
it in the passage quoted. It was
not,
within
it seems,
his province. It is interesting
be reto
minded,
in the passage quoted, that James was
of
as
aware
the frequent contrast
between
what lies in the foreground
and
the background of the spirit.
But
it is significant
that
such reminders
confined
to his earlier novels.
are
By the
time he came
"The
to write
Spoilsof Poynton" (1897) he
had learned that his forte was
for psychological
not
analysis,
for the detection
of what
lies in the background of the
human
but rather for the dramatic
spirit,
presentationof
James

on

one

most

"

mental
them.

states

And

beautiful

as

the characters

his great

concern

of point
consistency

themselves
came

be

to

of view

are

"

not

to

conscious

of

maintain

to

allow

the

least scratch

stain

or

must

comment

the

on

subjectivemirror.

taken

be

not

"undramatic"

of

of the

polishedsurface
This

NOVEL

TWENTIETH-CENTURY

THE

i98

to

be

absolute

an

statement,

exceptionswhatever. My point is that in


his later novels, in third-person
narrative, James carries the
principleof the limited point of view farther than any
he feels it necesdone. Even
writer had ever
when, rarely,
sary
outside view of the central character of the
to give an
without
he has his ways of gettingit done
ing
seemmoment,
admitting of

himself,

tell you

to
to

no

it is he

author, what

as

wants

you

see.

The

obvious

most

during

which

observation

our

of

the view

to

the

itself in the later novels

shows

view

in which

way

considerable

is

of what

singleperson.

point of
the length of time
is going on
is confined

Such
is

stretch of time

for

concern

limitation

of view

of

intensifying
the effect analogous to the lengthy development of
of a singleday, the limitation of place,and the
the events
continuityof action. And it may be said broadly that this is
the great distinctive feature of the novels of Henry James.
over

But

even

novels

the

there

so,

like "The

Dove"

is

obvious

Bowl"

Golden

(1902) on

an

the

one

means

distinction

(1904)and
hand, and

between

"The
those

Wings

of

like "The

Maisie Knew"
(1897),anc* "The
Spoilsof Poynton," "What
Ambassadors"
tioned
(1903) on the other. In the three last menis maintained
without
a singlepoint of view
virtually
interruptionfrom beginning to end. In "The Golden
and "The
the story is built up
Bowl"
Wings of the Dove"
of largeblocks of narrative, each told from
the point of
view of a singlecharacter, but with these characters taken
in alternation.
persons
The

reason

In

whose

each

of these books

view

is followed

for this is clear

at

there
one

enough. The

are

time
very

ent
five differor

another.

pointof

these

MULTIPLE

POINT

VIEW

OF

199

stories

of views. It does not have its


largelylies in a contrast
existence absolutelyand without
reference
to the various
minds
that mirror
it. Its peculiarity
is its chameleon-like
color

character, as

one

shows

different

it in

is its spectrum.
But
that is not
a

different

the

to

each

case

It is necessary

The

know.

for

the matter,

is

in each

and

off from

shuts

case

seen

facts which

all, he

know.

not

be

must

above

he does

what

consider

colors

"

"

reader

things; and,

of these

by another. There is in
there are facts
something does happen.
the story-teller
to
present at any given

just those

moment

which

of what

much

story

to

succession

will better

vision

angle of

of them

one

only way

it and

plays upon

bring out the relevance


the problem of tellingthe story. The
view the facts from a different angle of

different characters

vision, an

light;the

metaphor

of this method

after another

kept

made

be

must

the

in the dark
be

must

He

wishes

he

kept in

as

reader
to

to

certain

curious

about

to
as
suspense
be directed

things are going, and his suspense must


and centered
certain issues.
on
skilfully,
This was
it
as
always a principleof James'sstory-telling,
of Dostoevski's, but now
he brings the method
of the
was
restricted and alternating
point of view to the support of
his principleof directed suspense. At a given point in the
story he views the situation through the eyes of a certain
how

of the characters.

one

about

wonders

the

views
thrown

has
darkness
has

situation

wonders
upon
the

into which

viewed

from

looks

through

his vision

familiarized

this

angle,he

and

the situation
new

areas

penetrate. When

cannot

himself
moves

sees,

curiosity
certain points.Then
he
eyes of another; lightis

through
on
placesformerly dark; but meantime
developed,has altered; and there are

thoroughly

"The

he

that person
about. His

what

sees

thus directed

are

suspense

or

whatever

He

to

with
a

new

the eyes of another


character.
Golden
has for its subjecta
Bowl"

the

ground

of
he
as

positionand
quadrangular

"THE

for this first half is


situation
There
devoted
than

it appears

the author

once

view

vision of Mrs.

the full

of
implications
fullythan he

more

husband,

with

the

whom

of

the other

or

one

100

Maggie's father.

And

more

to

Assingham. Only
the situation

desires. Mrs.

she discusses
for what

is

so

put

at

the

develop

enlightening
Assingham and her
persons with
and occupying

things,are

legitimateconcern

But
they are
very favorable
post of observation.
in the drama, they are not "in the know."
All

is watch

more

without

do

pages

us

he

can

rangular
quad-

of them.

than

of

finds it convenient

angle of
us

to

entire book

one

point of

the

to

201

mainly given to building up

as

is,however,

BOWL"

GOLDEN

going

on,

not

tors
ac-

they can

help us watch
of the problem and
and speculate,
to define the conditions
direct our
interest to the significant
points.
tion.
They help also to delay the progress of the illuminaThere
of things
is a very real and ugly fact at the core
here. But it is a fact born of a phantom. And
the phantom
is one
of those shadows
projectedfrom the minds of men.
This apparitionJames wishes to conjure slowly with slow
"misty mid-region" of shadowy
strange music, in some
and

and they serve


speculate,

adumbrations,
before

and
swell
grow
fascinated
eyes. It is one

lettingit
our

that would

shrink

turned

rudely on

too

of the Prince

and

the

relativelyoutside

do

nothing
in

But

but

the

becomes

which
married
who

partialand

one

has

of

shut

view

of

speculateand
most

woman

and

never

in her

things
daylightwere

Mr.

in upon

Verver

to
"

itself
"

the views

inside
we

views

given

are

Fanny Assingham,

who

can

wonder.

half, it is Maggie's view

second

in the world, who


is

and

grees
de-

of those

if full
slink away
it. And
so, in addition

Charlotte

each

insensible

by

and

up

but

to

interestingto the
daughter,generous

author.
and

of

things

It is the

candid

soul,

experiencedthe realityof Evil


self
to realize that Evil itgraduallycomes
her own
household, that she is in danger

camped in
losingher husband,

life

the

man

she

adores, and

that it is

NOVEL

TWENTIETH-CENTURY

THE

202

is the agent of this alienation. At first


in the air;
the facts,but only feels them

her father's wife who


she does
it is
her

existed

between

how
and

Charlotte

great

she

of Charlotte,

before

growing

isolated

and
She

watch.

little gesture of

restlessness and
than

more

even

strained
re-

peration
des-

herself

by

Amerigo to his loyalty;and she can watch


maneuvering of her father to sound her out and
to make
thingsrightfor his daughter and at the
of

return

the silent
a

the

watch

can

only

to

macy
inti-

an

Amerigo

instinct for strategy. She can


the working on
Amerigo of her

awareness;

way

time

same

understand

her

watch

find

unmistakably

brings them

marriage. But she cannot


speak to any of them,
by her pride,her notion of civilized behavior,
by

the

that

attention, making her

even
can

accident

curious

had
her

know

not

It is this

watching

and

tense

of

all.

the faces of them

save

tireless

Indian

an

the

watching, like

in the

forest, attention

sleepless
ceaselessly

snapping of a twig that


give evidence of danger this perpetuallivingin the
may
which
life and death
of issues that mean
gives
presence
Golden
its extraordinaryand
unique character to "The
parable
Bowl," its atmosphere of breathless charged stillness,comfor the

strained

rustle
slightest

or

"

"

only
main

technical

effects in Conrad

certain

to

by

means

limitatingof

observation

consciousness

of

which

and

Poe.

the effect is secured


such

over

long

the

And

stretches

is the
to

the

half one
is in the second
Maggie. There
interruptionto Maggie's view. James was no doubl aware
that there is a limit to any reader's capacityto remain
shut
the narrow
circle of one
person'sconsciousness.
up within
realized that our
have
He
must
imaginationslanguish if
confined
too
long to the flat two-dimensional
plane of the
from
that we
time to time the outside
crave
subjective,
view

of
and

character

which

give body

to

sixtypages in which he
of Fanny Assingham, so

to

serves

it. There
shows

us

that her

furnish
is

one

the third dimension


passage

of

nearly

Maggie through the eye?


her perplexity,
suffering,

POINT

her

final

certainty
then

But

do

not

emerge

given

pages
the

is

not

again

till

this

to

of

always
point

addition

of

of

in

which

view

is

that
will

James's

of

center

be

featuring

over

is
her

interest,

the

husband,
even

The

of

the

point

of

subject
gie
Magit

when
likeness
with

apparent,

once

300
with

Moreover,

followed.

at

Maggie,

have

we

she
and

ture.
gesand

book.

Maggie.

Assingham

the

of

book,

the

view

pages,

present,
of

of
of

Mrs.

method

Dostoevski's

half

the

of

end

and

speech

in
mind

the

to

the

203

forth

return

point
15

between

her

special

we

the

exception

discussion

again

in

Altogether,

bodied

be

may

JAMES

VIEW:

OF

of

view.

is

to

the

XVIII

POINT

T,

AMBASSADORS,"

HE

from

beginning

first

therefore,

It marks,

carried

been

had

limit

extreme

is

to

from

chapter)

and

ton"

short

the

point

the

furthest

respectively, in

of

Screw,"

162
of

be

their

call

plot; they

Screw."
them
The

So

novels.

"The

Turn

cover

more

not

perhaps

calling

It

is

Spoils
after

therefore

"The

clear

venient
con-

include

spatially

is

novel,

long enough

they

like

with

Turn

"The

Screw";

ground

may

we

363

immediately

the

anecdotes,

mere

very

"The

were

Moreover,
of

Poyn-

and

265

story.

magazines.

the

more

they

involve

and

rally.
tempo-

Turn

of

conscience

the
call

novels.

fact

borderland

know,

are

in

only

volumes

two-

indeed

are

Knew"

separate

them

than

They

Maisie

serially

appearance

characters
more

in

short

long

of

Spoils

of

device

this

applied

edition.

thinks

very

"What

published

to

"The

"

York

one

had

the

"

full-length,

James,

New

no

it is

and

Poynton"

to

which

long;

pages

the

method

These

with

go

this

as

the

person.

far

James

Knew."

novels

pages,
the

however,

Maisie

same

so

is

novels

in

publication (1903)

tendency

shorter

in

as

its

is told

variations

which

to

distinct

story

the

of

view

point

of

the

that

slight

Ambassadors"

"What

novels,

for

of

dramatic

Already,

technique

same

(except

the

in

James

date

in

said, belongs

end

"The

novel.

volume

of

the

at

of

concerned.

I have

as

OTHERS

AND

JAMES

novels

the

among

group

VIEW:

OF

from

of

the

is

matter

between

James's

the

they
novel

preface,

that

804

transition

are

and

"The

the

pieces, on

short

Spoils

story.
of

the
We

Poynton"

POINT

VIEW:

OF

POE

205

short story, and that the magazine editor


considerablyembarrassed
by its turning out so long.

started
was

This

out

be

to

story and

Maisie

"What

Knew"

the

are

products of

and
"The
period (between "The
Tragic Muse"
Awkward
Age") during which James produced no novel on
the grand scale, but in which
he was
ing
as
busy as ever turnit is a significant
short stories. And
item of history
out
the single
that at least the first of these novels in which
maintained
was
originally
point of view was consistently

ten-year

intended

be

to

is reminded

One

commonesf

the

short

story.

singlepoint of view-i^-xwie_of

that the

of the

Features

story; that, for

short

ample,
ex-

famous
of the stories of Poe
evefy"one~ofThe^iriore
is strictly
Found
in a Bottle,"
limited in this way (e.g., "MS
ders
Murof Usher," "The
"Ligeia,""The Fall of the House
in the Rue
Gold
Morgue," "The
Bug," "The Black
of Amontillado").And
the same
Cask
Cat," "The
thing
is

for many
Maupassant and
true

written

is

matter

fours

romantic

novels

that it givessuch

romance

the

an

of adventure.
the

air of

intellectual

The

first person

as
on

narrative

this
all

dozens
of

writer

to
authenticity

interest

are

terferin
incapable of insjin^lyj)ecause

So that, so far
identicaijwi^
of technique is concerned, these stories are
with "Robinson
Crusoe," "Kidnapped," and

bas always fancied


In

like

masters,

listed above

that all the tales of Poe

in the first person;


is
the author
with the character's pointof view

of other

reason

famous

Kipling.

however,

Note,

he

of the tales of other

mance
ro-

for the

his record.

in character

and

ciety
so-

happens is often straiige and


hard to credit, and itjsjdf
the more
tion
attenimpprtant^that
for verisimilitude.
should
be given to whatever
makes
is dealingnot in everyday truth, it is still
Since the author
is relatively
what
slight;

incumbent

more

by

an

him

to

cultivate

the

semblance

greatlyhelped by having the


eye-witness,
by one of those most concerned

truth. And

this is

on

story

of
told

in it.

206

THE

TWENTIETH-CENTURA

Sometimes

the

story is

NOVEL

complicated and
impossibleto make any

people that it is
many
witness of all that occurred.
often

romance

diaries, etc., by different

in

"The

method

Master

such
of

the

is used

of Ballantrae"

he,

story told

person
writer of

editor, has

as

by relaysof

Woman

and

so

series of documents,

in "The

one

the

cases

people,which

brought together,having
This

In

the device

to

resorts

involves

so

"Dr.

nesses.
wit-

in White,"

Jekylland

Mr.

Hyde." And the authors of these stories have used the most
the manner
of the
cunning ingenuity in differentiating
several narrators,
and
of arranging them
in that sequence
which
will best contribute
timed
to the gradual and
lease"
"reof the wonders
and mysteries
which are their subjectmatter.

Stevenson

eclipse
"

the

Victorian

be

laboringat present under an


eclipsethat shadows Browning and other
whose
stock was
its peak during the
at
of both
century. In the case
Browning
to

seems
same

writers

first years of this


and Stevenson, I suspect it is not
which

have

led

real esthetic considerations

their

but
rejection
by present-daycritics,
something scarcelyrelevant to a judgment of their art.
cheerful
who
believed in God, and our
They were
men,
highbrow critics prefer a gloomy outlook and religious
to

unbelief.
Stevenson
for

is quitegenerallyregardedas

boys. And few critics stop to


story-booksthey are. The

achievement
Stevenson
one

sense

and
from

so

into

rare

the

that this alone


rank

of

But

blent, and

consider
mere

what

traordinary
ex-

style is

boyish tales
It is
literary
masterpieces.
result of wide

sources.

writer of storybooks

lifts the

style,for it is the
literary
devoted
care, and compounded

many

of elements

these elements

have

the

been

product is so exactlysuited
and spirit
to the requirements of the
story, that to
is to give it the highestpraise.
literary
Sometimes, in his essays, Stevenson

is a bit

an

of
in

ing
read-

derived
so

in

fully
skiltone

say it is

self-conscious,

STEVENSON
a

bit

JAMES

207

goes in for spots of archaic


of Latinism, for effects of archness

precious;he

refinements

suggest the fooleries


in his stories he
But

which

them.

"modesty of nature"
The
quaintness is

to

of

Lamb

has

too

of

gentlemen

the

the

old

these chronicles, the

roguery

matching
great regard for the

go in such fanciful ways.


quaintnessof an eighteenth-

true

the

school.

trained

men

elegantplainnessis
But

flavor, the

that

in
of

all, throughout

above

connoisseur
literary

idiomatic

and

let himself

of adventure,

school

coloringand

without

chronicle, the saltiness is that of

century
the

AND

is enchanted

with

in
crispvernacular
to
so
completelyin contrast
phrase and turn of expression,
nineties
of those eightiesand
in
the prevailingmanner
English fiction the smart, the turgid,the sentimental, or
the simply vulgar and flabby and is gratefulto Stevenson
of literary
for the long discipline
study which enabled him
of the clear sparklethat it
to English prose some
to restore
the

nervous

true

"

"

romantic

the

before

had

started

movement

it off in

the

"sincerity"(Carlyle,Ruskin) and expressiveness


(Meredith,Pater).
As for technique in the larger,structural sense,
son
Stevenwas
probably the English novelist of his time who had
fastidious concern
for those nice adjustmentsand
the most
which
economies
it gave James so much
template
pleasure to conand
with
to practise.
James'spersonalfriendship
Stevenson
until Stevenson's
began in 1885, and continued
direction

of

nine

death

years

Stevenson's

later. He

praisefor

Master

of Ballantrae"

was

forever
his

confided

and

later

for

his achievements,
and

"Catriona"

sending books

to

reader

his letters

of
are

example in "The
("David Balfour").

Stevenson

in Samoa,

cluding
in-

that he
to Stevenson
books, and it was
his intention, after completing "The
1888

own

in

Tragic Muse,"
time. This

enthusiastic

an

his novels, and


stories,especially

full of

He

was

was

to
to

write

prove
period, the

nothing but short stories for some


the dividingline between
his earlier
novels of the later manner
being

POE

tery, of
And

AND

JAMES

209

of the tales of Poe.

and

suspense, like so many


brings to mind the statement

terror

that

the short

made

often

so

in

ton),
(forexample, by Clayton Hamilof the defining elements
of the genre
that one
is
VPoe had
a
highly romantic^imsinglenessof impression.
agination.But he had likewise a~sEarpIylogicalmin3,
of mathematics
and the law, and
trained by the disciplines
with great deliberation
he always set out
to produce a particular

regard to

story

effect. Every

is familiar

one

atmosphere of horror
build

up step
calculated

best

by step, by

their

reader's

sensibilities. And

element

in

securingthis

the thick and

it is

which

mystery

the selection

make

to

and

with

of

some
gruecould

he

just those

items

the
specialassault upon
evident how
important an

effect
^

wishes

He

to

never

blur

the effect

keep the reader's


particularpoint from which
wishes

the

to

of his morbid

monster

relaxation

by

change

of

interest centered
at

any

moment

focusTHe

may

imagining, to permit

of his terrified

concern,

and

some

upon

so

spring
no

to

ment's
mo-

hold

throughout in a state of quivering tension.!


served in Poe's tales by
this is not
the only purpose
But
of them
number
the single point of view. A considerable
belong to the genre of detective stories, for example,
the reader

Gold

"The

Bug"

In stories of this

of

the

mystery

and

Murders

"The

in the Rue

Morgue."

type it is very important that the solution

should

made

be

by gradual degrees,and

knowledge should be limited at each stage


the author wishes him
of the narrative to justthat which
to
that
know.
It has always been a natural procedureto secure
limitation
of knowledge by lettingthe reader follow the
of the detective, or
the mind
given mind
process of one
of some
the mind
companion of the detective, less clever
that

the reader's

"

than

he,

the order

to

whom

detective

makes

his revelations

the other's suspense.


in his short stories and in those later

in

that will best maintain

Henry James,
which

the

followed

the middle

els
nov-

periodof short-story
writing,

NOVEL

TWENTIETH-CENTURY

THE

210

clearlyaiming at a singlenessof impressionlike that of


Poe's tales. In general it is not an
impression of physical
fear and supernaturalhorror that he wishes to produce,but
takes its quality
harder
to define, which
something much
is

from

of

the mind

one

or

of the characters.

more

James (likethose of Conrad) are


might say detective stories. The
mystery stories,almost we
principleof their composition is to pose a question,or
or
better, a series of questions,
problems for solution; by
cunning suggestionto fix our attention on certain points
of intenser interest and doubt; to hold us there watching
in
have become
those pointsuntil we
thoroughly at home
from
which
the particularsituation
they are visible as
tion
"questionable"shapes;and then, by the proper illuminaof
of those points,to create
zone
beyond them a new
Again,

the

stories of

obscurity.
Mystery stories,I

call these fictions of

Only, the mysteriesare

for the

James and Conrad.


the
part psychological;

most

of fact in
questionsto be resolved are not so much matters
of interpretation,
the objectiveworld
matters
as
tion.
appreciaAppreciation,not by a mere
professionalauthorknows
who
one
everything,has known
everything from
but by some
the beginning,and has nothing to learn
one
closer to the story, some
one
(inJames) actuallywithin the
in the very process of learning,
be shown
can
story, who
little by littlewhatever
of coming to understand
it is that
"

So that in this type of tic,


realisof psychological
for
fiction, there is a double
reason

lies at the heart of the mystery.

has

a
technique which
cultivating

of

Thus

in

"The

Ambassadors/1

novels
full-length

view

is maintained,

an

been

the

cialty
spe-

romance.

the

errand

hitherto

of

James

Lambert

the

in which

Strether

that calls for the subtlest

remarkable

most

the
has

of

singlepoint of

come

abroad

exercise of his

on

faculty

AMBASSADORS"

"THE

and
interpretation

for

Chad

home

he

first

he

hitherto

by

man

still

with

crude

measures.

one

of the

each

In

is divided
which
the

is

at

thing

of decided
person
conscious
that he will

once

disadvantagein dealingwith
in all

worldly

difficult when

Chad

And

ways.

he

the

meets

of birth, breeding,
person
situation which
be
can

"

crude

twelve

books

into

which

the

novel

provisionof objectivefact
Strether is to exercise his facultyof appreciation.
reallyimportant thing,to which the author gives
there

is of

When

Paris.

to

the

at

rather

at

more

success

opera, he
the callow young

box

armed

well

so

holding
It is not
sensibility.

met

But

is

for

the

constant

so

but

considerable

is

who

woman

on

at

becomes

his task

him
in

Strether

fine and

so

some

left home,

bring

to

acquaintance
understanding of the forces

the fact that he is not

he

is

first condition

the

he shall make

Chad,

distinction; and
find himself

get

kept

encounters

when

was

and

man

struck

once

but

Newsome,

of the young
which
have

task

His
appreciation.

undertaking is that

in this

2 1 1

course

of
the front of the stage, is not the facts but what he makes
There
obthem.
is, for example, the all-importantfact jectivel
"

considered
Chad

and

words;
surround
his

own

evidence

it would
such

be
a

thing

matter

he

is

whether

put

never

cannot

with

the

utmost

or

it is

not

explicitlyinto

characteristic of Lambert

thoughts.When
which

tween
preciserelation subsistingbe-

de Vionnet,

Madame
The

"guilty"one.

of the

"

Strether

discretion

even

to

in

by accident he is presentedwith
ignore that the relation is not

shock
it is clearlya considerable
his New
to
"platonic,"
England prudery or idealism. But this merely confirms
in his conviction
him
that Chad
ought to stay. Strether
Madame
de Vionnet
has been too busy "appreciating"
and
for this little discovery
what she has done for Chad
of fact
him againsther.
to turn
"Nuns

fret

pleasureof

not

at

their convent's

the artist to choose

the

narrow

room."

It is the

specialconditions

under

which

is

he

present his subjectand

to

within

richness

by

story of Chad

the

sonata

In

"The

undertook

James

to

present,

and

Strether

Lambert

form

by

or

de

Marie

"the Sonnet's
it

Mrs. Newsome,

not

was

that

Vionnet

between

relations

the

nor

all its

out

Ambassadors"

and

Newsome

work

to

conditions, whether

those

the

plot of ground."

scanty

of

limits

the

constituted

they are

NOVEL

TWENTIETH-CENTURY

THE

212

Franco-American

nor

of all these as bore


just so much
of these as came
Strether's embassy, and justso much
upon
his "appreciain the pursuitof that embassy; it was
to him
tion"
ing.
of all these thingsin their relation to his undertakAnd
the beauty of the performance lies in the justness

societyin

with

Paris:

which

he

elements

these

it

was

the

out

measures

that is

to

enter

exact

of each

amount

of

cates
composition,indi-

into the

in {he ness
their emergence
consciousof Strether, controls everythingartist-wise in the interest
the

exact

degree of

is after. And

of the effect he
the

is

That
kind

by

appreciationin

of excitement,

sort

one

of reader.

part readers
and

crave

of

is after is

the

mind

of

Strether.

Lambert

most

excitement

growing

the effect he

It is not, however,

of novels

demand

is the

situations

least the

and

crave

and

emotional

sufficient for
the

sort

demand.

tain
cer-

that for the


What

excitement

they

aroused

danger or sufferingfor at
or
predicaments putting a
of the urgent necessity
because
of
difficult
making a choice between

involvingextreme
principalcharacter,

terrible strain upon


him
takingdecisive action or
alternatives.
Such

emotional

in books
even

for

like "The

more

than

James's want

the crude
His

obvious
is

is present in but slightdegree


Ambassadors."
And
that is, I believe,

excitement

the over-elaboration
of

truth

primarilya

He
popularity.
of the human
world

of

style,the

son
rea-

deals very little in


passionsand appetites.

of sentiments.

Perhaps

the

MATHEMATICS

SENTIMENTAL

best definition

can

is intellectualized

make

of sentiment

This

intellectualization

emotion.

idealized

or

we

213

tion
idealiza-

or

tion;
impliesa very great degree of abstracof the mere
the rulingout, almost completely,
it means
passions.
appetitesand undifferentiated
James rules them
of his world partly,
doubt, because of a certain overout
no
of the emotions

of

fastidiousness

taste,

New

old-maidishness,

England

counts
point in tryingto deny, and which acvery largelyfor his rather exaggerated dislike for
Flaubert, Zola, Maupassant, and other artists whom
as
artists he could not help but admire.
the whole
that is not
But
powerful,and
story. Another
for rulingout
the cruder
this time purely esthetic, reason
appetitesand passionsis simply that they tend to upset
mathematics
which
those finer equations of sentimental
it is his delightand specialty
to work
clusions.
through to their con-

which

is

there

no

is the

Mathematics

of tables and

tangiblerealities
it, the
arrived

have

we

numbers

which

the

is,as I

chairs. Numbers

consideringthingswithout

derstand
un-

relation

at

themselves

have

been

subsumed

in

gory
cate-

designatedby a, b, c, by x, y, z, by n and pi.And


tion
thing goes on to higher and higher degreesof abstracto

the

from

and when
we
qualities;
get to algebra,
still higher degree of abstraction, in
a

their individual

to

be

until
to

of

art

abstraction

of

art

to

resort

which

it becomes

for Professor
Whitehead
necessary
the Deity as the Principleof Concretion
out
with-

we

does

should

have

no

actualitywhatever.

go so far with
but he does like to conceive

James

number

not

of

beings,without

us.

too

much

world

in which

if

they

interference

from

behave

as

matics;
mathe-

were

the

tain
cer-

rational
freakish

of casual

cross-currents

motivation

people

his sentimental

which
He

in

is like

infantile
appetiteor subconscious
wilder
everyday experienceconfuse and bewho
wishes to carry on
his
a physicist

experiments free from electrical


He makes, accordingly,
a choice

or

of

magnetic disturbances.

passionswhich

can

be

NOVEL

TWENTIETH-CENTURY

THE

214

and
social motives
intelligible
and brings them
sentiments, that is to say
togetherin a
field free from magnetic disturbances, where they can work
out
together the equation constituted by their opposing
forces.
or
collaborating
Of course
this is,in some
degree, the procedure of all
tion.
artists. The
difference is in the degree of abstracliterary
It must
be acknowledged that it is very high in James,
described

in

of

terms

"

"

and

that

Sacred

in novels

Fount"

is almost

Golden

it is so

high

Awkward

and

Age"

"The

that the interest of these books

intellectual. What
keeps it from
exclusively
books
like "The
Spoils of Poynton" and

in

such

like "The

being
"The

ment
poignancy of the heroine's predicaand the intimacy with which
made
to realize
are
we
it by the handling of the point of view.
In "The
Spoilsof Poynton" the heroine, Fleda Vetch,
is a homeless
and refinement, who falls
taste
girlof unusual
in love with
man
a
already engaged to marry a
young
rather
Mona
common
woman,
Brigstock.Owen
young
is heir to the beautiful country place of
Gereth, the man,
for the precious
is particularly
notable
Poynton, which
and his
objectscollected and housed there by his mother
dead father. Mrs. Gereth
tests
highly approves of Fleda, but deher prospective
and cannot
bear to see
daughter-in-law
her mistress of Poynton and its "spoils."
she secretly
And
transfers the finest piecesto a more
humble
country-house
of her

is the

Bowl"

own.

There

Fleda

visits her, and

finds

herself

in

the

extremely delicate positionof go-between when Owen


with his mother.
She learns from
comes
out
to expostulate
Owen
that his fiancee is highly indignant at Mrs. Gereth's
"steal,"and has indeed postponed the marriage until such
returned
time as the spoilsare
to
Poynton. But, Owen
warns

her, she

must

not

tell his mother

that this is Mona's

since that would


position,
only make her
to keep the thingsat Ricks. In the course

Owen

manages

to

convey

that he

more

determined

of their

tion
conversa-

realizes the

superi-

"THE

POYNTON"

OF

215

vulgar-minded fiancee, and


he might be induced
to
encouragement,

Fleda

orityof

SPOILS

with

deed,
in-

that

his

to

transfer

his affections.
realizes that there

Fleda
holds

on

of

return

be

way out:
will cease

will

to

insist

the

on

This,

Mona.

simply give up

beautiful

Gereth

if Mrs.

one

Owen

long enough,
and
the spoils,

feels,would

Fleda

is

culties;
of all their diffi-

solution

disposeof Owen, of herself, and of Mrs.


for
not
Only, it would
provide for Mona, nor
Fleda's
her, nor
obligation toward
obligation

it would
Gereth.
Owen's
toward

both.

them

dilemma

tighta

the

between
honor

the

on

of

dictates
or

more

sway

that Fleda

But

in

as

any

hand, and,

one

passion.If she

the other

on

been

had

in her, the situation

the story been


that is not the way

would

hand, the

mite

instinct of love had

mere

and

once

finds herself

Vetch

found
herself in,
woman
ever
young
of
complicated and irreconcilable demands
as

if the

actor,

So

simple

less clever

an

been

given slightly

have

cleared

up

at

over.

with

heroines

of

James. They are


of dissimulation
masters
generallyconsummate
(mostlyin
the good cause),and
their emotions
are
so
largelycast in
the pattern of an ideal behavior, determined
by conscience
and
a
fabulouslyrefined notion of honor, that they are
incapableof actingdirectly
upon instinct. They are obliged
think out
the line of action demanded
to
by their ideal
sentiment;

and

they

have

think

to

in the very presence


givesthe urgency and tension

it out,

from

of the enemy.

moment,

moment

This

is what

predicamentslike

to

to

Fleda's.

of loving
impelled to givean instance of a manner
different as possiblefrom
Mona
It is a
as
Brigstock's.
tribute she owes
her pride,her self-respect,
which
to
is
all the poor girlpossesses.
about

She

feels

The

line which
to

Mrs.

strategy. She
to

keep

from

Fleda

Gereth

has three
Mrs.

takes

at

once

callingfor
secrets

Gereth:

which
her

leads her

into

lation
re-

desperate displayof
she is bound

love for Owen,

in honor

Owen's

in-

POINT

dramatic

of

passages

his

resourcefulness

get

himself

in

are

the

to

he

the
he

accident,
the

James

vigilance
So

and

that

is, after

And
in

story

talk

which

the

It

the

which

word
is

reproach

the

of

which

lightning

but

that

for

is

There

death.

relentless

from

perils

flash

the

the

climb

way

which,

for

of

being

work

like

we

is

stress

we

of

the

laid

the

strain

in

whose

character

such

unemotional.

fiction

like

"The

that

of

his

upon

of

well-written

on

"intensity"
emotional
which

of

Spoils

intellectual

directly

word

kind

some

of

to

not

use

has

intensity

in

analogous

as

when

factors,

using

of

his

to

same

all,

intensity

an

romance.

fall

suspense
the

his

gropes

through

to

to

conscious

stairway

where

ingenuity.

there

Poynton,"

to

quality,

same

uncle

providential

share;

show

Kidnapped"

devilish

vaguely

breathless

we

to

order

in

the
"

in

tower,

destined

same

view

of

point

the

was

his

ruined

until

in

gap

enson,
Stev-

upon

moment

have

chapter
by

murk,

define,

cannot

that

James

sent

the

the

in

step

reveals

in

in

place.

that

as

being

stairway

step

tight
in

world,

Balfour,

dark

the

Dumas,

called

is

of

spur

217

in

Hugo,
hero

the

the

passages

moral

David

of

out

There

where

on

JAMES

in

romance,

Scott,

Cooper,

VIEW:

OF

of

cast

the

mental
sentiwe

are

tion.
connota-

saves

it

from

XIX

POINT

OF

W,
This

esthetic

than

difficult

to

which

the

of

in

execution

engraving.

It

his

down

it
is

of

point
such

matter

of

an

in

drawing
"The

of

her.

is

and

her

the

vivid

mother

friend
and

by

the

motive,
It

who
the

the

actuality
as

of

of

and

seen

present

to

be

reckoned
218

grosser,

questions

scene,

and
of

commonness

method

take

before
with.

on
our

and
most
al-

is derived

Fleda

people

itual
spir-

Brigstock

actual

in

this

heard

the
to

quality

these

triumph

finer

Mona

aroused

philistine

way

impressions
they strike

Gereth

the

on

their

vitality of

persons

forces

of

disgust

the

great

seldom

are

little

have

we

gross

is the

portentously

very

like

perspective.

realize

to

sentiments.

the

merit,

Fleda's

Mrs.

intention

of
our

the

of

ment;
arrange-

If the

laws

from

of

of

and

dump

to

artistic

an

derive

made

are

'painting

pattern

the

we

refinement

content

not

one

of

of

of

presentation.

reactions

crassness,

the

is

medium

we

from

is

assumption

very

arts

and

analogies

those

ideal

an

in itself is

and

impression

The

the

Fleda

the

appear

altogether

of

that

that

conscience

involving

who

except

robust,

more

author

Poynton"

through

perceptions
though

of

characters

It

in

observance

or

Spoils

all the

prized

of

help

the

It

chapters,

preceding

implies

heap.

successfully realized,
In

with

system

the

of view.

narrowly

more

purposes

art-criticism.

is

as

implies

implies

accurate

serve

view

point

restricted

the

in

except

staple

definite

to

discussed

any

describe

are

with

is made

technique

STENDHAL

JAMES,

yet done

not

HAVE

VIEW:

in

her
taste

the

ground.
back-

that

acters
char-

nevertheless
eyes,

loom

OF

POINT

Owen
thanks

himself

is a

he has been

with

limned

219

distance; and

the middle

figureof

Fleda's attentiveness

to

JAMES

VIEW:

yet,

sign,we feel that


delicacyof stroke.

the least

to

and

all firmness

stupid fellow. But to


Fleda his simplicity
has from
the beginning an
engaging
his
of his helplessness,
quality,associated with her sense
his dyed-in-the-wool
good nature,
gentlemanliness.And
she comes
to realize,as time
goes on, that the Tightnessof
his feelings
is capable of making of his simplicity
a social
instrument
fine as cleverness. It is very interesting
to
as
He

is

see

how

his mother's

to

view

his character

mere

in the

out"

"comes

of these

course

of appreciand it is Fleda's powers


prolonged negotiations;
ation
for this sort of thing that serves
to bring it out.
Of course
there are
quite other ways for the author to
accomplish these effects in characterization. But there is a
distinct esthetic pleasurederived
of dothis method
ing
from
it through the consciousness
of one
of the characters.
In what
does this pleasureconsist? Let us carry the question
a little farther
back, and inquire in what consists the
of any kind. Nature
pleasurederived from representation
is in her

own

"stunning"
of

one

with

persistent
urges

most

our

every

more
way so much
than any picturecan

kind

specialbeauty
the natural
The
will
to

is but
matter.

our

the

make

representations,

of that Nature

preferthe

much

we

more

yet it is

her. And

artificial

whose

there

approached. And

be

never

are

product

to

remind

degree of accuracy which


stronglyof the originalis sufficient

us

in that

admiration.

beginning
"

But

or

selection

elements

of

and

the

literalness of

else the

Critics of all schools

degree of
the

can

skill involved
to

arouse

to

much

so

thing.

mere

serve

make

of artificial medium,

in which

moods

beautiful,

decadent
that

reproduction
end

"

involves

of

the

high

elimination, of rearrangement

of

within

the

agree

art

subject,of composition

limits of the square of canvas.


chief pleasureto be derived
One
from
paintingis an understanding of what is done

NOVEL

TWENTIETH-CENTURA

THE

220

ject
of a given subby interpretation,
by positivemodification
in the interest of some
unifying and enriching idea.
this expresAnd
like a picturefor its expressiveness.
We
siveness
is traceable not merely to compositionin the larger
but to the details of technical procedure.We
take the
sense
brush
keenest pleasurein the mere
stroke of a Van
Gogh
of applying thick masses
in painting in a sky,his manner
of oil which
to the object pregivesparkleand animation
sented.
into the terms
of
The
painterhas translated nature
has enriched
it,has brought to it an
art, and in translating
increment
of pleasure.

But, if our
the

analogy

is

of fiction,we

art

to

must

be of any

in connection

use

to

return

the

primary

with
fact of

In the freest of paintingthere must


be some
representation.
the subjectand
the artistic product.
correspondencebetween
Otherwise
should
miss that pleasureof recogniwe
tion;
skill
the
in
selection
and
should
not
we
appreciate
It is this primary and
spondence
mysterious correinterpretation.

between

nature

and

art

that lies

the heart

at

of

pleasurein technique.Our joy in the visible world


is doubled
by our
joy in its reproduction through the
medium
of art. In art, we
for the
somehow
enjoy nature
It is at one
to us
remove
indirectly.
very fact that it comes
and this may
what
be in itself a reafrom
call reality,
son
we
it holds for us.
for the glamour which
This appliesas well to the novel as to any form
of art.
all

our

It is obvious

from

remove
sort

the author
that the story which
tells is at one
call reality,
what
and givesus a different
we

of

pleasurefrom

observation

that which

of life. But

that it shall be told


of his characters, he
involved

if the author

made

statement

the direct

an

so

extension

in all artistic process. The


of the character constitutes an added
of

from

his story
arranges
the point of view of one

entirelyfrom
has

derive

we

of

the

ciple
prin-

ness
specialconscioustion,
principleof selecAs in the author's
composition and interpretation.
of his subjectwe
have the pleasureof recogniz-

THE

MEDIUM

OF

ART

221

enhanced
ing the originalreality
into it or by the mere
process

by what the author reads


of strainingit through the
medium
of words; so, in the character's specialview of the
subject,we have the pleasureof recognizingthe author's
of the character's
view of it enhanced
by the contributions
if there is a glamour in the fact that all
And
temperament.
from what we call reality,
there will be
remove
art is at one
of that

intensification

an

art

an

that is

two

at

it.

from

removes

in

glamour

I say, what

call

we

But everybody knows


reality.

what

trickyword has there entered into the discussion. Reality,


is constituted
out
we
by the facts themselves, withsay naively,
regard

to

into

initiation

what

we

think

may

about

them.
in

But

brief

these

days, into
physics is sufficient to show us that of the primary facts
know
themselves
we
absolutelynothing. A physicalscientist
like Eddington will tell you that scientific knowledge consists
metaphysics
"

or

even,

"

of

series of formulas,

mind,

human

which

serve

all of them

very

controlling certain

of

will

what

happen

well

processes
certain
under

this series of formulas

is

of

the
nature

creations

the

practicalpurpose
and
predicting

circumstances,

closed

of

but

that

circle, entirelydistinct

presumable realityto which it corresponds,and


in contact
with that
at any point bringing us actually
never
reality.
world which
If this is true of the physicalworld, the one
has long been
regarded as the very type of hard reality,
the

from

how
at

much

true

more

least, there is a

terms

matter,

for

is it in the esthetic realm!

approach to
describingthe phenomena

and

temperaments

near

the effort is

to

of individual

universal
which
little as

In

science,

agreement

form

its subject-

possibleof
Whereas
in
investigators.

make

as

on

the
art,

of one
kind or
always been conventions
another, a premium has been put on the individual
quality
of the interpretation.
In all art, the great thing is not
curacy
acmuch
fullness or richness in the rendering of
so
as
while

there

have

NOVEL

TWENTIETH-CENTURY

THE

222

In fiction,facts are made


importantby being set in
reality.
facts but meanings.
such a lightthat they become
not
One
ing
way of doing this is to give the facts justthat meanwhich
of the characters. They
one
they have for some
able
availwhich
be made
like so much
can
are
lumpish matter
acter
only by beingdissolved. The consciousness of the charthe facts and
fluid capable of dissolving
is a chemical
for art is
making them available. And the important matter
should have a perfect
solution. If there remains
that we
at
that
of undissolved matter,
the bottom
so
a deep sediment
it is necessary to shake the bottle hard before using,the
artist has fallen short of his aim. This objective-subjective
be

solution

should

mixture

of elements

saturated
should

be

so

not

over-saturated.

perfectthat

of the distinction

complete obliteration
and

but

have

we

between

The
a

objective

subjective.

Of

course,

be obtained
result may
by
that of James. In James the

similar

directlyopposite to

process

objective

and the effect is


completelyassimilated to the subjective,
best rendered
by our
analogy of the fluid solution. In
is for the most
Maupassant the subjective
part completely
and a better analogy would
be
assimilated to the objective;
boxful
of perfectlyformed
These
a
crystals.
crystalshave
and weight which
have their own
a glitter
appeal,and one
well preferthe method
of Maupassant. In his tales the
may
existence except in the objective
characters seem
to have no
facts in which
It is the
they are completelyabsorbed.
of the objective.
dominance
beautiful methods
So here we
of representing
have two
is

human

nature

"

two

beautiful in their

esthetic conventions,

we

may

call them

their richness,their artistic


simplicity,
of them
Neither
involves a complete descripprecision.
tion
of human
nature.
Maupassant's system impliesthat
exist in the objective
aims in which they are absorbed.
men
are
creatures
James'ssystem impliesthat men
livingmainly

"

MAUPASSANT

AND

JAMES

in reflection,perpetually
conscious
the situations

to

of which

they form

823

of their
a

own

reactions

part.

appreciateeither of these
kinds of art, to accept its conventions.
We
are
obliged,in
stantly
conJames, to grant the existence of people who live more
and consciously
by reflection than our Aunt Dinah
Ned. They are given in an unusual
Cousin
or
our
degree
the social situation,the relation in which
to broodingover
they stand to the other characters,watching from moment
this relation
the subtle changes that come
to moment
over
We

and

obliged,if

are

as it were,
affect,

we

to

are

the balance of power

in the sentimental

world.
And

if it

derive

may

by

happens that

so

from

such

the arts, the

medium

chosen. We

flavored

and

We

are

range of
minutest

like this kind

of

thing,we

fered
that supreme
pleasureofof complete immersion
in the

narratives
sense

are

tinctured

confined

we

plunged deep,deep
fluid, and

soak

it in

in this

richly

at

every pore.
the character's

within
long and strictly
vision that we
to have
an
intimacy with its
grow
features which
becomes
for us an imaginativepossession

never

to

so

be

lost. We

are

absorbed,

to

the last inch

of consciousness,in this

world of illusions,as we
are
special
absorbed
in the world
created by great actors, by George
Arliss or Emil Jannings.And
into the
when
out
come
we
rub our
we
tain
daylight,
eyes almost in pain,and it takes a cerlength of time to adjustourselves uneasilyto what
call "reality."
we

The

world

of

realityis

the

world

of

newspapers

and

window

of self-startersand bumpy pavements, of


displays,
scrawled
on
a pad.
telephone bills and telephonenumbers

It is

world

of irrelevant facts

not

yet got into order,

un-

And
framed, unlighted,uninterpreted.
printedbooks are
full of matter
from
the world of facts,big facts and little,

POINT

VIEW:

OF

STENDHAL

225

different as it is from Julian Green's. He never


infinitely
jarsthe reader with crude facts that give one that shivering
of being outside the subjectinstead of inside. His
sense
from
him
most
intimacyis the qualitywhich distinguishes
that giant among
novelists, Stendhal.
psychological
Such books as "La Charteuse
de Parme"
(1839)and "Le
Rouge et le Noir" (1830)are perfectquarriesof solid and
Poor low-born
nature.
preciousfacts of human
JulienSorel,
eaten
up with Napoleonicambition, and tortured not with
his love for this

that

or

in love-affairs with

but

woman

with

aristocratic persons

the need

to

prove
of his
the prestige

tance
something of first-rate imporin normal
psychology,almost altogetherneglectedin
of amorous
fiction,which prefers
to indulge simplerviews

personality
"

sentiment.

realist in

well"

with

He

may
James, but

have

we

Stendhal

And

other

has

in which

sense

is,moreover,

He

there

the

will

be

in many
he is not so

ways
fine

a
an

him.

We

even

seem

to

know;

know

know
we

do

what

what
not

he

than

much

greater writer

artist.

Julien Sorel is like


than an
intimately

of fiction. We
understand
personage
know
what he stands for and can
give a
we

force.

known

of him;

is

not

convincinghistorical figurerather

we

He

too.

apply to James.
and he writes
personality,

term

great romantic

gusto, wit, and

matter

he did and

perfectly,
count
acsatisfactory
what happened to

thought.But

feel that

we

him

have

him

we

do

lived with

not

him.

This

be due partlyto his foreignness,


the remoteness
may
of those days, those types and
issues. But
it is also

partlydue

something in the techniquethat strikes the


modern
reader
is
as
quaint and old-fashioned. Stendhal
full of stuff. He is ready at any moment
all the
to give us
of psychology;
facts,all at once, all in a heap.He is prodigal
in "Le Rouge et le Noir"
he will spend whole
on
chapters
the thoughts of a character. And
in a hurry,
yet he seems
and is forever turningto mere
summaries
to reanalytical
to

inforce

NOVEL

TWENTIETH-CENTURA

THE

226

which

the effect of situations

have

not

made

been

tion
Renal's convicintimate. Speaking of Madame
sufficiently
of sin, followingthe illness of her child, he says:
This

great moral

which

united

crisis

Julien to

the

changed

of the sentiment

nature

his mistress.

His

love

longer

no

was

of admiring her beauty and


taking pride in
simply a matter
of a greatly
on
possessingit. Their happiness was from now
tense.
inthem
more
was
superiornature; the flame which devoured
Their
joy would have seemed greater in the eyes of the
world. But
that
they no longer found that delicious serenity,
that easy happiness of the first periods of
unclouded
felicity,
the sole fear of Madame

their love, when

enough by Julien.Their

be loved
air of

The

de Renal

happinesshad

not

was

times

at

to

the

crime.

author

is

concerned

more

make

to

us

Understand

the

psychologyof his hero than to make us share it.


which
dramatize
in vivi 1
There
are
plentyof fine scenes
here intrudes
fashion the psychology of Julien,but even
the habit of psychological
analysisto spoilthe intimacy of
On
with
the character.
the night when
he
contact
our
climbed

into

the

window

of

Madame

long period of separationwhen she


the good of her soul, there is a constant
statements

which

present the

statements

which

describe

Renal

him

to

From

be

sent

this

away,

moment

enough

Renal,

given him

alternation
of

after

up for
between

Julien and

Madame
explain it. When
his departure before he has

take
to
urges him
satisfied his pride,he realizes what
de

had

of mind

state

and

de

to

shame

poison his

all that there

was

it would
whole

be for

life.

of celestial in the

tion
posi-

rapidlyfrom his heart. Seated beside


Juliendisappeared
whom
he adored, almost
a
woman
strainingher in his arms,
perceivingin the deep obscuritythat she had been weeping,
of her breast that she was
feelingby the movement
sobbing,
he had the misfortune
into a cold and calculating
to turn
creature
of policy.
of

There

is in all this

quite hostile

to

warning, from

pertinentto

seems

vision, even
amount

one

of the chief

by

particularfireside
to

deep, has

of

historian, ready
which

unlightedplaceswaiting for

the

Now,

are

limits

no

securingintimacy.It

is like the
with

yourself in
to

feel

is

of vision

limitation

the
One

home.

at

from
sciousness
conone
pass so cavalierly
is that he has never
penetratedvery

can

another
shut

never

one

his

you shut
choose
you

where

pass,
character

to

There

which

Stendhal

why

reason

no

to

information

piece of

of illumination.

curtains

of

view

point of

his chronicle.

means

feels free

is the omniscient

He

temporary,

due

window

the

give any

to

moment

any

theoretical
and
literary
dramatic
intimacy.

air of the

an

into that of another.


at

227

the purposes
of
without
saying that Stendhal

It goes

without

JAMES

AND

STENDHAL

himself

in
cozily,

very

up

of

one

any

them.
he
which
strictness with
James it is not the mere
limits the point of view that givesthe effect of intimacy.
It is the depth of penetration,the densityof the medium,
the degree of saturation
of the facts. So complete is this
In

in

saturation

effectiveness

given an
on

the heroine's

into

at

every

window

be

given

he

renders

that in Stendhal

Stendhal, the

by
to

state

as

grains of

ladder, and

hero

fact

climb

must

risk his life each


lovers

impress us.

The

of frenzied

passion or

must

of

icy

of great quietnessmay
with which
breathless importance by the fidelity

James,

their

situations

to
significance

yet

"

finest

sense

is made

Strether

are

of actions

involved.
the persons
incident
is the simple,unmelodramatic
and

There
the

in

moment

indifference. In

in

In

he visits her, in order

time
be

great

as

scale.

sensational

minutest

the

that

James

between

by which
highly theatrical
the nature
to realize finally
"

Chad

and

Madame

de Vionnet.

Lambert
of

the

timacy
in-

Spending

two

in the country, Strether discovers these


enigmaticpersons togetherunder circumstances which

can

bear

quiet afternoon
but

one

For
interpretation.

Strether

it is the

reso-

doubts

of

lution

he

together
this

of

And

him.

recognize
maintained

hesitation

been

the

the

him;

of

on

when

moment

should

they

values

carefully

so

importance

an

had

there

whether

to

scale

takes

author,

ting
chat-

embarrassment

seen

as

in

the

had

during

beautifully,

cover

had

others

this,

the

by

nothing

sensational.

of

short
Here

again

it

for

the

tone

in

what

gives

its

by

whether

we

experience
the

effect

secured.
the

are

thus
trick

for

to

is

us

but

by

its

restored
turned.

to

us

is

shades

are

truth.
the
for

the

sponsible
re-

and

expression
often,

in

and

experience,
which

largely
amplifying

some

of

for

or

like

shades

art

an

that

is

any

grateful

more

is

finest

point

fineness

its

It

finest

these

them

method

subjective

peculiar

recover

merely

the

Well,

music.

can

is

reproducing

for

process

which

of

instant

that

been

the

that

knew

to

there

repressed

behave

all

dinner

But

encounter.

Strether

that

their

over

and

harbored

has

characters

The

months.

many

NOVEL

TWENTIETH-CENTURA

THE

228

gratifies
We

amount

delicate

do

an

us

art

not

know

not

of

life,

human

stroke

by

THREE:

PART

Little

THE

as

have

to

two

been

in

and

would

restrain
have

for

restrained

down

as

an

dance

in

chains.

essential

"HENRY

of

in
the

treatises
rule

FIELDING:

Tom

for

have
and

nature;

other

no

good
the

not

which
than

purpose

the

and

imposture,

rules

which
or

genius,

excellent

most

truth

his

all

time

many

established,

mitted
trans-

by

supporters

thus

sidered
con-

and

merit,

observed

be

great
and

serve

chief

critics

these

encroachments,

these

foundation

commonly

the

essentials

authority;

writing

curb

his

the

ignorance,

by

dental
acci-

perhaps

were

were

constitute

To

successors.

least

author,

great

to

gave

which

circumstances,
in

NOVEL

WELL-MADE

to

manner

same

as

had

dancing-master,
on

that

that

art

every

man

"The

Jones,

laid

it

must

History
a

it

Foundling"

of

XX

VARIATIONS:

w,

HAT

call

tendencies,
of

sort

ideal

absolute

with

in

(1923).

tended

of

most

spite of

the

In

author

one

tendencies

new

the

The

author's

picture

is almost

of

novel

tone.

universal,
the

them

to

the

himself.

at

of

his

lacked

in

evidence,

factors, in

is

he

other
an-

in

from
tell

to

even

relating

of

death

the

he

how

us

with

Thackeray

the

of

of

dryness

outside

the

nett,
Ben-

panoramic

wherever

hesitate,

not

Arnold

of the

contrast

virtue

by

the

strongly

more

like

equivalent

characters

reader,

novelist

of

out

the

realizes

strikingly
does

himself

keep

one

modern

individuality.
Povey.

man.

But

I have

vein

He

feels

interpret

toward

Samuel

his

thinks

he

and

always
of

exception. He

been

hold

greatness
embraced

little. I have

was

and

I liked

life, destiny took


the

without

in

them

Povey,

the

remarks:

Samuel

honest

his

After

author
He

is the

that

observe

fit, to

as

contemporaries

true

1895-1925,

Joyce's "Ulysses."

certain

on

to

exceptions.

Thackeray,

It is

be

disposition

work

all his

and

strongly
in

which

others.

by considering
whose

its

in

toward

of, say,

work

is still

will

"Fraulein

like

ideal

the

epitomized

stress

found

never

Schnitzler

less

and

mind,

in

well

perfectly represented,

characteristic

America,

certain

on

the

none

the

and

England

perhaps
of

novelette
is

It

is

element

every

some

bear

reader

It

its "dramatic"

with

novel,

the

let

construction.

it be

Else"

well-made

merely,

form,

unless

in

is

the

BENNETT

of

often

He
respected him.
that,
glad to think
and
him
displayed,

which
a

runs

cause,

through
lost

it, and

laughed

was

at
to

very

the

end

the

every
died

servant,
obsoul

of it.

EXIT

Even

Buck

of
simplicity

in "The
her

Good

the
sentimentality,
and

is the achievement

matter-of-

the grave
censoriousness

Without
Occidental

of

morals

the

biblical

(1931).The

Earth"

stylecorrespondsto

factness of her chronicle.

manners

233

in this kind

remarkable

more

of Pearl

AUTHOR

out
with-

and

delineates

Christian

the

peasant, following

Chinese

through the whole cycleof life from boyhood to old age,


from
within
indigence to wealth, keeping always strictly
the limits of a provincialChinese
mentality.So she builds
up little by little the pictureof an alien culture having its
and
weakness
own
strength,its own
dignityand rightness,
and
its independent claim to consideration.
It is all done
in the open-minded scientific spirit
of modern
sociology.
But it is also a notable
effort of sympatheticimagination,
and there is high art in the consistent maintenance
of the
Never

tone.

does

the

arises from

moral

human

this

author

indicate

And

moral.

deeply moving story, it is one

that it transcends

the bounds

of

so
race

if

versally
uniand

creed.
These
of

about

books
distinguished

two
current

them

tendencies

in the

along with
plot as the
Even

so

tive
representa-

is

"

them

principleof

evidence

in that there

more

nothing peculiar
"modern'*
or
perimental
extechnicallynothing specially
to set

The

the

are

the

common

is

selectiveness

characteristic work

that

complete

basic
late

off from

as

element
1905

alteration
of form

academic

of novels.

run

again everywhere
of

in

It goes
in the conception of

1895-1925.

in the
critics

novel.

were

still

talking

of "Tom

model of formal composiJones" as the supreme


tion
by virtue of its well-nighperfectplot.Dr. Maynadier

tells

us:

"Tom
it is

one

Jones" is firmlycomposed,"so firmlythat as it stands


of the best-constructed novels in our
language,and,

TWENTIETH-CENTURA

THE

of

the omission

with

The

best.

hinge, is put

explaineduntil

six

the secret, when

Nor

out

not

pertinentas we
to help towards

seem

somehow

then, it

the

the

is

be cleared

fore
up beepisodesof the story which

various

the last page. Moreover,


do

much

consider how

we

chapter of

chapter of the story" and it is


chapter of the last book," only
is this any too soon
to divulge

the seventh

the end.

chaptersfrom

third

in the

us

is,in the second

first book"that
not

before

the very
all the complications

become

which

birth, on

of Tom's

mystery

chapters,it might

few

NOVEL

begin

read

to

to

them, always

turn

the end.

of

good composition is to
have a complicatedtangleof mysteriesto be "cleared up,"
which
is propounded early and
central mystery
with one
it has long
the end. Now,
not
disposed of till very near
been a puzzleto me
why "Tom
Jones" should so often be
cited as the supreme
example of this art when we have so
novels which
all the preanswer
nineteenth-century
many
scriptio
and which, in the matter
of complication and
better. What
about
"Guy
go it decidedly one
suspense,
So

and

Mannering"
White,"

seems,

be said

Nothing

even

ever

What

"Ivanhoe"?

"Dr.

or

essence

about

"The

Woman

Jekylland Mr. Hyde"? Could not


for Hardy's "Desperate Remedies"?
is said for

"Desperate Remedies,"
it is

that, while

thing
some-

for the

"firmly composed,"

simple

reason

knows,

and, like all good stories of this kind,


unrevealed

in

God

keeps

the last

chapter,it does
in
genius of Hardy even
happen to displaythe special
of composition.Hardy's genius for composition is
art
master-mystery

"The

in

any

discover

an

the
these

were

of

Return

this without

"Jude," and
identityof
in

to

of the

of

the

his

being obliged to

characters

cupboard
rightfulheir to his

preferredin

see

this respect

no

to

reason

or,

at

"Tess"

the
played
disand

conceal

the

the

inheritance.

the stock in trade of the


I

in

not

last moment,
the suppressedwill which

old

plots,and

Native,"

its

Such

tricks

stores
reas

poser
comnineteenth-century
why Fieldingshould be

the author

of "Bleak

House,"

INTRIGUE

''Great
We

Expectations/'and

past

are

do not

like

occupy
the
on

335
of

"Tale

the

Dines

of

an

earlier

correspond to the serious


Galsworthy and Lawrence,

who

men

COMPOSITION

with

themselves

the invention

Cities/'

Two

the

concerned, be it noted, with

S. S. Van

and
time

our

here

not

are

Wallaces
of

AND

Edgar

day. The

men

novelists of the
these

and
of

men

plotswhich

suppressionthroughout the major part of the


story of the facts necessary to explainit and to bring about
tries his
sometimes
suitable ending. If Arnold
Bennett
a
hand
of thing,it is with his tongue in his cheek
at this sort
and franklyto make
he writes seriously,
the pot boil. When
the myshe writes soberly relyingfor his appeal not
on
terious
hang

"

and
in the

sensational

in event

but

on

the interest

take

we

daily lives of people like ourselves.


the preoccupation with
Now,
intrigueas the basis of
complicationand away from
story naturally tends toward
simplicityof line. The emphasis is thrown on surprising
happenings rather than on the development of character
of
and on
the simple moral dilemmas
the drama
that make
normal

character.
"

And

it is the

that

is, upon

which, in the well-made


elimination
There

is

of
one

ever

increasingemphasis on

novel, goes hand

and

mystery

complicationof plot.It
within

intimatelyrendered

character

in hand

intrigue..
varietyof intriguewhich

call for sensational

chology
psy-

yet

involves

does

with

not

"

the

sarily
neces-

siderable
implies a conthe assemblage

acters
of charlargenumber
whose
fortunes are closelyrelated, and so theybelong
together,but who take turns in holding the center of the
the subject
the other becomes
or
stage, as the story of one
of the moment.
is the type of story favored
Such
by Trollope,for example, in the famous cathedral series.
In "Barchester
deacon
Towers"
(1857),we begin with ArchGrantly,the gentleman among clergymen.We turn
next
to Mr.
Harding, his father-in-law, recentlywarden of
Hiram's
Hospital,and Harding's daughter, the widowed
the

covers

of

one

book

of

Eleanor

NOVEL

TWENTIETH-CENTURY

THE

Bold;

then

to

evangelicalDr. Proudie,
the bishop's low-church

the

newly appointed bishop, the

and

bossy wife;

chaplain Slope,

great rival for power

Proudie's

his

and

is

who

in the diocese.

then

Enter

to

Mrs.
next

of Ullathorne;
Stanhopes; the Thornes
named
I have
and the high-church Mr. Arabin.
only the
count
principalsin this drama, and have therefore left out of acother interesting
the Quiverfulsand many
figures.
of
The
one
questionsat issue are threefold: (i) Which
Bold?
shall marry
Eleanor
several eligible
men
(2) Who
shall
shall be appointed to the vacant
wardenship? (3)Who
dean? But the dramatic
be made
oppositionsinvolved are
than is implied in this simplified
much
more
numerous
of the issue. Taking into account
clesiastic
statement
only the ecintrigue,there are (i) the opposition of the
the strugGrantlyitesin general to the episcopalparty; "(2)
gle
the bishop and
his wife; (3)
for mastership between
and
Mrs.
add
Proudie
that between
we
Slope.And when
and the many
the complicationsof the love-story
ways in
which
the church
it interlocks with
plot,and attempt to
dramatic
situations resulting
of minor
estimate the number
from all his, we
get into the higher mathematics.
the

family

And

of the

note

that the

story is very

well

told, very

well

told

indeed

of story-telling
accordingto the principles
practised
in this school. Trollope has much
eray
than Thackmore
sense
for the dramatic
handling of individual chaptersand
suites of chaptersdeveloping a singlesituation. The
two
rival
chapterspicturingMrs. Proudie's reception,with the arof the Signora Neroni
and
the jealousrage of the
bishop's wife, and several other chapters involving the
Mrs. Proudie
and the chaplain,
strugglefor power between
between
Mrs, Proudie
and the bishop,
or
are
equal in sheer
comedy to anything in Thackeray and superiorto anything
in him

for theatrical arrangement.


must

(or even

one

not

pronounce

As

for firmness
"Barchester

of

position,
com-

Towers"

"Framley Parsonage/'for that matter)superiorto

INTRIGUE

TROLLOPE

IN

237

of
the largenumber
Jones/'if we take into account
deftness
threads of plot here interwoven
and the extreme
of their interweaving,
without
any touch of sensationalism
or
mystery, but all within the "modesty of nature"?
But it is this very art of interweavingthreads of plot
this cunning joiner's
work
which
to seem
came
antiquated
in the period of the well-made
worthy
novel. To writers like Galsand Edith Wharton,
like Ellen Glasgow and Somerset
that Trollope has laid his emphasis
seem
Maugham, it must
much
too
on
plot for plot'ssake, and too little on
thicker
character, on the feelingof life itself which comes
will
and thicker with the emphasis on
character.
No
one
zations,
and glitter
of Trollope'scharacteriquestionthe brilliancy
his generalobservance
of the truth of human
nor
nature.
Only, it is character seen, for the most
part, from
the outside, and in its relation to the comparativelyartificial
mechanism
of plot.And
with the distribution
of interest
of principalpersons, it is virtually
over
so
largea number
force and massiveness
impossibleto attain that emotional
which
is a great feature of Maugham's "Of Human
age,"
Bond"Tom

"

"

of
"Giants

Miss

Sinclair's

in the Earth,"

not

"Women

in Love."

all his material

around

Olivier,"

"Mary
to

mention

"The

or

Rdlvaag's
of

Man

erty"
Prop-

Trollope does not force human


into a mold; he does not
nature
misrepresentit. Neither
does he render
it with intensity,
or
penetrate to its secret
and exultation. He giveslife truthfully
placesof agony, despair,
enough but ever on the surface level of social comedy.
For such purposes
he does not feel the necessity
for ranging
or

one

this respect in marked


contrast
his contemporaries.These
bolder

grasp

on

life and

manifestations, have
for

center

of interest,and

the great French

to

men,

human
almost

who
nature

took

is in

ists,
naturalmuch

so

in its

invariablythat

most

tense
in-

French

composition which is so very different a matter


for composition seen
from
the sense
in the plot of "Tom
Jones/'And it is not merely Flaubert and die Goncourts
sense

and

their

Maupassant, with

crowded

range of characters and


his enormous
too, with

narrow

of action.

thinness

relative

NOVEL

TWENTIETH-CENTURA

THE

238

Zola

of detail, has

his titanic accumulation

canvases,

tional
unfailingsense for buildingeverythinground one emois made
to circle round
center.
Everythingin "Nana"
of corruption.
that nodus
that magnificent courtezan,
The
whole
is felt as the story of the
epic of "L'Assommoir"
an

Gervaise.

laundress

the

from
a

reference

to

The

point of
his love

whole
view

"Lourdes"

cycle of

Pierre and

of the Abb""

for

the

is presented
de

crippled Marie

given
Guer-

saint.

principleprevailsin Turgenev, the friend of


and Zola, and generallyspeaking in the Russian
Flaubert
is concerned
with
novel. Neither
Tolstoy nor Dostoevski
And
it is
the weaving of intriguein the English manner.
againstthis background of the great French and Russian
novel shaped itself in England
realists that the well-made
The

and

same

America.

It is worth

principleof
show
made

while

giving some
composition works
wide

novel.

period we
Thackeray

Arnold

Bennett

discussingof

are

and

Old

Wives'

very
with

long space

Dickens.

Tale"

and

in novelists

out

the

formula

this
who

new

wise
other-

of the well-

givesthe best example in


the "panoramic" method
his best-known

In

the

of how

the
of

novels, "The

Clayhanger series,he

covers

of years, and gives us that sense


of intimacy
results from our
the characters which
livingthrough

their whole

They
are

from

variation

examples

are

lives with
not

absorbed

eventful
particularly

for the

things.The

them.

married

most

lives. The

part in what

life of Constance

infinite small
free for

are

characters

little
relatively

Baines

was

which
left her
never
besiegingcares
anything but a sort of profound contentment.

allows

Sophia a

somewhat

romantic

one

of

mind
nett
Ben-

experiencewhen

BENNETT

ARNOLD

she

runs

with

away

romantic,

239

later there is

Scales. And

Gerald

being buried

least to the reader, in her

at

thing
some-

But what the author


foreignenvironment.
features is her capacity
of a boarding-house.
as manager
He
lays great stress in all his masterpieceson family
in such

strange

life rather
with

normal

our

and

erotic adventure.

than

we

in the house

our

all but

in

are

wealthy people,and
another's

one

all of

we

house.

own

us

as

it

such

was

Edwin

was

awkward

bears

fashion

tendency

The

Clayhanger children,
obstruction

father becomes

weak

tables
and

are

their

to

whose

get

for his

father

who

man,

ther
fa-

ties.
activi-

own

inevitablywhen

turned

old
helpless

to

it is likely
to be with

deep grudge againsthis

lifelong
tyranny.
a

all have

we

way. In some
with the

an

with

stages: that in
and
mothers
our

dren
chilbringingup our own
close for
Quarters are necessarily

fathers,and that in which


in

average
consists of two

features

growing up

are

life in its bulk

experience.The

in its obvious

which

this is in accordance

And

must

his

give

of
the power
keys to his son and make over
signingchecks. This part of die story occupiesthree fourths
of ''Clayhanger."
It is only in the fourth part that a loveup

his

to him

affair is

introduced, and

the book
The

is the

second
more

of husband
of-war
one

family life
novel

romantic

third, "These

and

but

wife.

theme

of

of the

Clayhangers.
of the Clayhanger series is the somewhat
Lessways,"but the
story of "Hilda
deals with

Twain,"

between

another

it is clear that the main

the unromantic

It is

two

simply an
people who are

each

of whom

of the

account

genuinely
to

wants

relation

It is a

have

his

fond

tugof

own

way.
it presents another

powerful and significant


story, and
pedestrianexperience,/
aspect of that commonplace and
family life.
But
out

while

Bennett

is in these books

intrigueor

melodrama,
of Meredith, Hardy,

that he represents

life

and
or
as

sober realist,
with-*

without

Conrad,

the
we

being dull

ments
poetic ele-

must

and

not

clude
con-

placid.One

BENNETT

ARNOLD

Clayhanger is thinkingof his

So Edwin

of the

development.One

of time. This
issue of
within
and
the
over

with

is associated
is

drama

some

few

the

taken

days or

its

at

few

excitement

height and
It is the

weeks.

tone

fatal

and

continuous

that concentrated

not

is that

its

in the reader,

and

themselves

and

career

of Bennett
specialties

of emotion, in the characters


which

241

lapse
the

over

played out
slow-growing

of
sentiment
that comes
only with a sense
penetrating
at
recurring periods
continuityof lives encountered
of years. It is likelyto run
a long course
strongest at

times when

death

of the characters
in the

puts its full stop


and

the

Tale"

there

Baines

in the first book,

Povey; and

of Gerald

death

in the second
book

some

one

regardtheir

to

of Mr.

in the fourth

of

career

Thus
generations.

is the

Wives'

Samuel

the others

causes

of
perspective

the

to

in "The

Old

and

Mrs.

Baines

of

the death

book

the end

witness

we

lives

Sophiaand Constance. And in the meantime


life is punctuated for Constance
by the growth of Cyril
from
babyhood to manhood, and by the Christmas
cards
postreceived from Sophia down
through the years.
In the James type of novel our
acters
intimacy with the chardimension
of thought through
grows in the spiritual
the infinite expansionof the moment.
But here it is the
and

literal dimension

cumulation

of

time, with

that makes
feeling,
story and givesthem
reality.

chronicle of "The
than

more

Baines

Old

fortyyears,
to

her death

than

the

look

for similar methods

in

its

of

people of the
and
of solidity

The

of

periodcovered

panoramic

effect. But

us

their

Wives'

from

incremental

constant

Tale"

covers

the sixteenth

compositionin
Bennett,

of Constance

longer
might

one

books
even

period

year
is even

This
fifty-eight.
by "Vanity Fair." And

Arnold

the

incomparableair

at

of

with

intimate

so

in

like
those

THE

242

NOVEL

TWENTIETH-CENTURA

them), has been


noticeablyaffected by the dramatic tendencies of his day.
clear sense
has an exceptionally
To begin with, Bennett
of the artistic value of the chapteras a unit of composition.
in advance
knows
He
preciselywhat material he is going
in each chapter,what contribution
it will make
to include
to his steadily
moving story, justhow much weight it will
of his carefully
have to bear from the superincumbent mass
how
He knows
it will begin and by just
planned structure.
"chronicles"

extensive

Muir

(as Mr.

calls

He has
to its definite conclusion.
stages it will move
sharp a sense as Eliot,James, or Zola for the "discriminated
what

occasion."

often conceived
chapter is most
by him as
for a particular
of his drama.
And
act
scene
or
cessive
chapterhe distinguishes
clearlybetween the sucA

the vehicle
within

the

of

moments

which

as

action, the

the

successive

tableaux

make

this end he often divides each


up the act. To
sections, each of which
chapter into numbered
presents a
moment

separate
Old

Wives'

or

This

is his method

Tale," "Clayhanger," and

It is evident
and

tableau.

that he exercises

"Hilda

fastidious

in

"The

Lessways."
in the opening

care

jective
closingof chaptersand sections. He is a very obwriter compared with James, mostly occupied with

action, movement,

For

event.

this

it is even

reason

vious
ob-

more

begins the chapter regularlyin


A very largenumber
the midst of a constituted
scene.
of
chaptersopen with the speech of one of the characters on a
in Bennett

definite

that he

occasion.

be

It may

this and

between

that
the

weeks

or

be

going.If
rather
such

than

way
much

hymn

that

it is

no

act

or

an

tervene
in-

attitude

which

is

of what
the
to

new

it
has

scene

be recorded

is phrased in
spoken word, the first sentence
to plant us
as
ever
situation,howfirmlyin the new
later it may be in time. "Mr. Povey was
playing

tune
one

an

have

preceding chapter,and

brief account
to give some
necessary
passed in the interval. But first he will set

may

years

on

should

the harmonium,
go

to

it

having been

chapel.""Constance

decided

stood

at

the

SECTION

AND

CHAPTER

243

in the parlour.She
many-paned window
large,
"Then
she was
lying in bed in a small room,
it was
heavilycurtained." "They had

The

value
the

as

scenical

mechanical

minor

the

in

to

little events

sailles
Ver-

to

section

each

tinct
its dis-

of the action. Thus

in

lustra
il-

Bennett
points of story-telling,
of form

neatness

of the novel

that

was

inant
dom-

in his

the smallest units


upon
that "sense of time" which

of novel

stowed
period.And the care beof composition is made
to
it is the objectof this type

effect of many
produce through the cumulative
followingone another steadilythrough a long

of years.

course

When

turn

we

to

largeroutlines

the

that there is in "The

note

giving to

been

cause
be-

Frensham."

the Pension

component

for

concern

feature

serve

is used

care

same

obscure

Peel-Swinnerton

"Matthew

there."

long dining-room of

in the

sat

dined

had

and

stouter."

was

number

of characters

of social

There
diversity.

division

of

Old
in

than

Wives'

of the

Tale"

"Vanity Fair,"

much
and

story,

we

smaller
much

less

is less

complicationof issues,and
of passingconstantlyfrom
the author has not the necessity
of characters to another
to
set
one
keep going his various
threads of plot.
And
within
his compact
even
family group, Bennett
has taken pains to simplifyand
keep separate the several
lines of action. This
he has accomplished notably by his
to

each

book

the

book
have

story into

of the
the

matter

four

books

and

appropriateto

his allocation
it. In

the

first

in the same
simple group, all assembled
house:
Constance, Sophia, Mrs. Baines, Povey. The
center
of interest is not
the
here, but on
absolutelydetermined
it is felt to be Sophia,because
whole
it is between
her and
Mrs. Baines that the issue is most
sharplydrawn, and she
is the young
to whom
our
sympathies go out most
person
strongly.If this book is entitled "Mrs. Baines," it is more
that she has no part in the later books
by way of signalizing
the marriage of her daughters is the end of her. In the

"

we

the

book

second

her

to

is

center

is

fourth

book

clearlyConstance,

her

and

husband

of interest is the relation

Sophia and Constance,

brought togetheragain in

first and

The

age.

four

of these

novel,

one

dramatic
in the

is

as

and

thing to

great

of Constance

and

in

that each

ordinary
sense

for

of chronicles

of

alternatingthe
second

o[

twenty-fiveyears

had the inspiration


Bennett
to
keep
separation,
and
distinct,followingthrough first one
other without
interruption.

them
then

their

solutel
abthe

will say, Bennett


did this naturally and
for the reason
that the two
sisters did not
inevitably,

But,

one

some

indeed

during

meet

laid

Sophia throughout the

books, during the

third

the

old

Thackeray.

is that, instead

note

the

their

an

many

more

of Dickens

the

between

are

considers

one

long

as

books

impressed with
compositiondisplayedby this writer

chronicles
and

books

is all the

manner

The

fourth

third in Paris. When

Bursley;the
one

and

second

book

exceptionSophia. In

center

the

tion
rela-

in her

third

the

In

son.

without

absolutelyand

center

NOVEL

TWENTIETH-CENTURA

THE

244

the

but

years: it was
of the material

all these
nature

The

arrangement.

artificial distinction

which

is that

answer

the author's

not

we

can

determined
make

no

nique
tech-

this
such

between

technique and subject-matter.


The
technique is,to be sure, the natural expressionof the
favored by a given writer. But it is equally
subject-matter
that the choice of a certain type of subject-matter
is
true
determined
by the technical preferencesof the author. Or,
better, the undifferentiated
itself for different authors
to

reader

certain
of "The

of Constance

one

Old
and

cannot

of Bennett's
That

the

and

Wives'

of

human

for different

typicalpatterns.

What

life arranges
schools according

first

impresses the

Tale"

is the pattern of the lives


Baines, beginning and ending together,

Sophia
long middle
question that

but in the
and

mass

flowingsharplyapart;
was
a
leading feature
in writingtheir history.

years
this

artistic motive
original
separate followingof Constance

and

Sophia

BENNETT

ARNOLD

than

more

the
their

itself

hanger"

the

life

period.

in

Baines

The

again,

book

than

the

her

series

from

fourth

the

time

the

the

extended

dramatic
careful

meetings
twice

of
that

view
of

of

in

chronicle,

principle

of
of

Hilda

the

first

"Clayhanger,"

"Hilda

Lessways."
have

composition
a

and

length,

at

we

technique

Edwin

in

now

and

author's

between

Edwin

same

chronicle.

recounted

Hilda

maintenance

the

the

Constance

their

of

"Hilda

persons,

like

of

including

of

two

"Claywhich

is

part

of

"

1892,

together

the

keeps

is

novel

second

these

book

are

point
from

an

series,

feature

marriage
the

the

the

The

Clay-

he

average

to

through

along

that

is

their

of

life

of

1872

Hilda.

remarkable

most

in

from

with

carried

are

Sophia

second

Edwin

third

the

In

married,

time

of

covering

Lessways,"

before

longer

meetings

several

this

that

first

The

the

meetings

time

"

covers

his

distinct.

and

separate

is

identically

several

the

during

Tale"

by

almost

actually

were

concerned

stories

clear

follows

there

Wives'

Old
made

is

Bennett

here

characters

"The

of

accident

Here

and

plan,

same

books

happy

series.

hanger

in

middle

the

through

345

limited

the
Here

striking

stance
in-

which

center

scribes
preof

terest.
in-

XXI

GALSWORTHY

VARIATIONS:

identified

widely
which

than

is carried
of

period

is

the

of

English
been

leading

Other

famous

land's

"Jean

Recherche
under

the

Roger

Martin

in

in

28);

in

later

Danish,

"The
O.

Undset's

series
Son

E.

and

"The
Martin

In

his

"Kristin

Avenger"

with

England,

besides

translation

English

Things

Past"),

of

Lavransdatter"

series

and

Norwegian

with

Father's

in

Swedish,

(1925-

in

the

"Giants

God"
of

queror
Con-

Norwegian,
and

(1920-22)
Axe"

the

Reymont's

"Pelle

(1919-21);

in

of

Lowenskolds"

Nexo's

"The

Gray

"Books

1924-25);

the

"Ditte"

"The

Ladislas

Polish,

translation

the

la

with

beginning

"Their

"A

beginning

(1925-27);

series

Proust's

(1922 ft.; English

in

with

Rol-

Marcel

of

Andersen

and

century.

Couperus's

Ring

has

Thibault"

Louis

(English

beginning

Rolvaag's
ending

volumes

(1901-1903);

(1906-10)

Sigrid

"Les

in

which

series

Romain

"Remembrance

Dutch,

Lagerlofs

in

(1913-26;

novel

one

French,

(1904-12),

Card's

three

Peasants"

Selma

title

in

are:

gether
to-

example

twentieth

early

perdu"

temps

Souls"

"The

the

examples

du

Notebook");
Small

of

lijik

which

novels

for

prising
com-

Comedy,"

monumental

most

predilection

general

translation

the

up

long

novels

six

Modern

stories

chronicle

covering

The

"A

more

even

of

sort

novels

of

and

short

Christophe"
du

the

with

series

Saga"

feature

period

same

Galsworthy.

several

that

John

make

another,

the

Bennett

Forsyte

with

of

through

years

"The

with

writer

English

LNOTHER

ending
and
in

her

with

English,

the

Earth"

(1924-31).
Bennett

and

Gals-

SEQUENCE

NOVELS

247

worthy, there have been the following:J. D. Beresford's


age,"
"Pilgrim"Jacob Stahl" (1911-15),Dorothy Richardson's
and
comprising nine novels between
1927,
1915
Richardson's
series entitled "The
Fortunes
Henry Handel
Ford's series
of Richard
Madox
Ford
Mahony" (1917 ff.),
of four novels
Do
Not"
(1924),
beginning with "Some
Matriarch"
and G. B. Stern's series beginning with "The
of Israel," 1924). In America
there
(in England, "Tents
Bromfield's
Louis
series beginning with "The
have been
Green
(1924) and ending with "A Good
Bay Tree"
York"
"Old
New
Woman"
(1924)
(1927),Edith Wharton's
series
Passos
and
Dos
the incompleted
by John
ter
(seeChap"The
and by T. S. Stribling,
XXXIX)
Forge" (1931)
Store"
and "The
(1932).
Earlier examples of such novels in series dating from the
iSgo's are Huysmans' "La-Bas," "En route," "La Cath""The
drale," and "L'Oblat," Pontoppidan's"Emmanuel,"
Promised
Land," and "Dommens
Dag," Sienkiwicz's "With
Fire and Sword," "The
Deluge," and "Pan Michael," and
Fogazzaro's

"The

Patriot," "The

and

Sinner,"

"The

they all perhaps go back, in general scheme, to


Humaine
Balzac's Com^die
(1829-47) and Zola's series
of "Les Rougon-Macquart" (1871-93).
This
whole
subjecthas been studied by Miss Elizabeth
in a master's dissertation,on file in the Universityof
Kerr
Minnesota
tional
Ficlibrary,entitled "The
Sequence Novel:
Saint." And

of

Method

Scientific

of the fundamental
the various

works

Miss

Age."

Kerr

makes

mudi

unity of conception running through


of the series in the

most

characteristic

of

these

products.
Another
general feature of all these sequence
that, while they cover
a
long period of time and

include

largenumber

separate novel
and

justas

each

is limited

in the
novel

of characters

novels

in the aggregate,

in time, in the number

specialdramatic
has its own

tend

issues involved;

is
to

each

of characters,
so

that,

title,it has generallyits own

GALSWORTHY

JOHN
as

Couperus takes

Later

In

up the
the other

Lilt" and

the

of

case

that when

sequelof

249

Souls" in "The

"Small

novels of his

tetralogy.

Galsworthy it is importantto remember

in
Property"(published
1906),he had not conceived the idea of the "ForsyteSaga"
of
This definitive study of the rich bourgeoisie
as a whole.
London
followed immediatelyby the "Country House"
was
Patrician" (1911),
(1907),"Fraternity"(1908),and "The
studies of the squirearchy,
the professional
class,and the
and making up altogethera kind
aristocracy,
respectively,
of social survey of the well-to-do classes in England.At that
his
been
to make
to have
period Galsworthy'sidea seems
rather than to specialize
in extenso
study of Englishsociety
he

in
intensively
was

not

"The

wrote

the

manners

Man

of

and

till 1917, after he had

of the

customs

It
Forsytes.

publishedseveral

other

novels, that appeared the short story "An


of

Summer

Forsyte,"which
Jolyon Forsyte and Irene; not
second

novel

of

1928 appeared

the

takes

series,"In

"Swan

Song," the

until

up

1920

of

appeared the

Chancery";
sixth and

Indian

chronicle

the

portant
im-

and

last

one

not

till

of the

series.
It would

indeed

impossiblefor Galsworthyto
of the novels beginningwith the third.
in political
with events
other things,

have

been

projectin 1909 any


For they deal, among
historywhich were
many
years in the future; the action of
Let" takes placein
"To
War, that of
1920, after the World
"The
Silver Spoon" in 1924-25
during the first Labor
that of "Swan
mous
government,
Song" in 1926 during the fageneralstrike.
idea of continuing the chronicle of the Forsytesin
The
of a family "saga" was
the form
an
afterthoughtof Mr.
Galsworthy; and this, for one
thing,results in an even

parts than is the


component
the sagas of Rolland, Proust, and SigridUndset.

greater distinctness
with

case

"The
well

of

Man
unified

and

House";

of

the

Property'*is as complete,independent, and


novel
as
a
Country
"Fraternity"or "The
if the later novels of the series do imply the

background of the earlier


devised to
each is carefully
This

NOVEL

TWENTIETH-CENTURY

THE

250

is,I think,

it is

ones,

the less

none

by itself.
of
true
especially

that

true

stand

"In

Chancery"
and "To
Let." In the second series,"A Modern
Comedy,"
feels that Mr. Galsworthy is carried forward
one
more
by the
momentum
already acquired than by any powerful creative
impulse; each book follows immediately on the year in
which
the action is placed,as if the author
somewhat
were
keeping his chronicle up to date.
hastilyand perfunctorily
more

grows rather tired of the monotonous


Soames
in his double
role of anxious
One

father. There

is some

effort

of
reappearances
financier and doting

givedistinctness

to

to

each

book

by varying the publicinterests of Fleur's husband, Michael


Mont, and by certain episodesin the privatelife of Fleur.
But on the whole, these episodeslack definition, and one's
of indeterminatefinal impression of the series is a sense
with the sharpnessof outline which
ness
greatlyin contrast
characterizes
the earlier novels.
It is unmistakably the
earlier series which
givesMr. Galsworthy his place among
novelists of distinction.
"The
as

of

Man

Property" is a study of

it affects the lives and

engaged

in

later novels

big

business

and

of the series this

oppositionto

Beauty

of

manners

which

the

possessive
spirit
ily
typicalEnglish fam-

finance.

Here

and

in the

of possessionis
spirit
the

Forsytesdo

not

set

in

take into

philosophy,but which in spiteof them


upset their plansand disturb their emotional
of Property" this oppositionis dramaMan
tized

in their

account

in

comes

life. In

to

"The

in the relations of Soames


his wife

Irene.

They were
understanding that
explicit

Forsyte,the solicitor,and

married

without

if they did

not

love, on

hit it off he

the
was

not

to

the

hold

course

exists and

her

FORSYTE

bound

by

the

SAGA"

251

marriage tie.

when,

But

in

of the story, Irene declares that such a condition


demands
her freedom, Soames
repudiatesthe
holds

and

agreement

what

preciousof
The

"THE

her

bound.

It is

is,for him, only another

not

form

in him
of that

to

linquish
re-

most

all

things,property.
is brought to a head by

the love which

springs
Irene
and Soames's
architect, Bosinney. This
up between
artist is, like Irene, unaffected
by the Forsyte scale
young
their
of values. He has been engaged by Soames
to build
Hill. He is a man
house at Robin
of originalimaginanew
tion
the
and taste and is carried away by his desire to make
house a thing of unusual
ably
new
beauty,so that he considerexceeds
the amount
for the
agreed on with Soames
of the building.At the opening of the story he is encost
gaged
to
June, the daughter of Soames's cousin,
marry
Jolyon Forsyte,but the intimacywhich developswith Irene
in their consultations
the house leads to their falling
over
in

matter

love. Soames

of the house
not

in

been

would

with

for the

the

no

more

doubtless
than

have
a

met

the

extra

cost

little grumbling if it had

stealingof

his wife's affections,but, stung


of his property
this invasion
rights,he

quick by
ruin
him
to
brings suit against Bosinney, determined
financially.
Of the concluding events
I will mention
of the drama
down
by a bus while
only the death of Bosinney, run
wandering distracted in the London
fog. The
story all
around
house
the building of the new
Robin
centers
at
the growing realization by the Forsytesof the
Hill and
existence of a passionwith which
they are unable to cope;
the action takes place from June 1886 to December
1887,
the house
is
covering roughly the period during which
building.
"In Chancery" takes up the story of Soames
and Irene
in the years 1899-1901.They have long been livingseparate
but

not

divorced.

Soames

cannot

realize the definitiveness

with

which

effort

againsthim. He makes a crude


the
he invokes
back, and, that failing,

has turned

Irene

win

to

NOVEL

TWENTIETH-CENTURY

THE

252

her

machinery of the law to divorce her, so that he may marry


again and have issue. He succeeds in putting her in the
the English
which
a bitingsatire on
are
by methods
wrong
of doing so he
divorce laws of the time; but in the course
raises up a champion for Irene in the person of his cousin
of the Forsyte clan,
Jolyon,June's father. This member
who
is the one
holds their philistine
a widower,
now
ophy
philosin its least pure form. His sensibilities are
outraged
mire
adto
by Soames's brutal persecutionof Irene; he comes
her fineness of nature;
and love springsup between
has the misery of seeing
them. So that the jealousSoames
his wife in love with
he

has

least in

story is
Soames

that

of all his relatives with

one

formulation:

simply indicated by the brief


his rightof property
on
by insisting
most

affections,succeeds

merely

in

this

characterof

dramatic

The

common.

whom

driving her

in his wife's

into the

of

arms

Jolyon.
In

"To

Let," while

and

Soames

and

Irene

Jolyon

still principalcharacters, the story is better defined


drama
of their children. Fleur, Soarnes's daughter
second

wife, and

Jon,

the

of Irene

son

old

historycome

marry so much
The
dramatic
the

of Fleur's
between

determination

his

not

But

the

in

spite

let any

to

his father and

to

mother.

character

of this story is very simply formulated:


of property in one
working of the sense

that each

Forsyte Saga"

sharplydefined

by

them, it is impossiblefor Jon

againstthe feelingof

It will be evident
"The

the

without

ugly
generationbrings about the grievous frustration
in the followinggeneration.
up

as

dentally
Jolyon, acci-

and

meeting in the year 1920, fall in love


knowing anything of the historyof the parents.
bitter heritageis one
throw
off, and
they cannot
of their love, and

are

one

of the novels

is distinct

and

which

of love

make

independent

in its lines of action. This

does

not

and

mean

GALSWORTHY

JOHN
that

exhibits

Galsworthy

in

novel

well-made

toward

attitude

the

253

is that

Forsyte clan

of the

completeness.His
of a sociologist
or

their

anything like

the

tendencies

dramatic

of some
anthropologistmaking a study of the manners
tired
he is never
primitivepeople.Author and interpreter,
of pointing out
the characteristic
manifestations
of the
and indicatinghow
typicalthey are of
''possessive
spirit"
the British people or of human
kind in general.
of his main

One

intentions

of types included
under
modifications
the many
which

is

to

the

illustrate

the head

of

versity
great di-

Forsytism,and

the passage
of Property" his scheme
about

come

of time.

with

Especiallyin "The Man


of different members
impliesthe featuringof a large number
of the Forsyte family in their several homes, who, one

after

the

other, take

the

Mr.

had

single person

like those

scenes

But

with

dramatic

all

writer

Forsytesin

the

central

various

tend

there

general composition of
from

"The

theme

branches

which

Man

of

to

build

up

of

the

stage.

an

plays.Through

the

group

abatements

these

in the

of

the

on

might expect

one

or

ment.
mo-

any period of his writing


volving
continuities
of action in-

at
Galsworthy never
marked
predilectionfor
a

stage for the

of the

center

author

is much

his narratives,
is

who

all the

of

comings
Property" one

Soames's

relations

to

so

famous

and
never

his

as

as

goings of
forgets
wife.

The

of the

Forsytefamilyare all followingwith


interest the developments at Robin
Hill. They
extreme
all fascinated
of
troubled
and
are
by the exotic charm
Irene, fascinated and outraged by the strange incomprehensible
phenomenon of Bosinney; and from their several
strongholds they are watching the growth of that stormthe horizon
the smug
cloud
threatens
which
on
security
of their order.
It has

often

been

pointed out

Galsworthy employs in his treatment


the same
though this is essentially

what
of

peculiarmethod
Irene and Bosinney,

method

that Mrs.

Whar-

follows

ton

Age
be

with

regard to

of Innocence."

the

NOVEL

TWENTIETH-CENTURY

THE

254

These

characters, who

sympatheticto the reader,


directlybut always through the eyes
Mr.
Leon
Schalit pointsout:
In

most

the

whole

lovers, remain
whole
.

lovers
aroused

Mr.

"Saga," only
opaque.

This

Irene
is

in "The

Olenska

the Countess

are

presented

never

are

of the

to

meant

Forsytes.As

Bosinney, the

and

two

The

clearly deliberate

Irene-Bosinneylove affair is hinted at, rather than


Instead of directly
describingthe moods of the
.

he

lated.
retwo

will

get them

in the observer

Galsworthy

the method
his intention

has

by showing the thoughts


by the sightof the lovers.
thus

of the restricted
in this book.

managed
point of

sort

view

and

feelings

of reversal
very

suitable

of
to

followingthe story
through the eyes of the two most sympathetic characters,
the lovers, he follows it through the myriad eyes of the
turbing
all centered
the two
mysterious and disphilistines,
upon
persons. It is an excellent device for unifying the
diverse material and givingit pattern. And
it was
probably
the best possible
for making his study of the natural
method
historyof the Forsytes.
In the two
later volumes
the pattern is greatlysimplified
by virtue of the fact that he has set the Forsytes so
firmlyon their feet in "The Man of Property" and has no
further need
them
for characterizing
in detail. But here
which,
again we have to deal with the principleof contrast
Mr.
Schalit has pointed out, is a leadingcompositional
as
device in Galsworthy. Contrast
pondence
and, we may add, corresof themes,
or
parallelismof themes, repetition
and the use
of symbolic themes.
Winifred's
reluctance
to
divorce Monty, her Forsyteinstinct for holding on to him
of Soames's
to something that is hers, is the shadow
as
feelingabout Irene, and her suit for divorce is the parallel
of Soames's. Jolly and Val reproduce two
peculiarblends
of Forsyteand non-Forsyteas well as repeatingthe SoamesInstead

of

GALSWORTHY

JOHN

255

in
Jolyon feud. And of course
Jolyon,from Jolyon to Soames

to
the passage from Soames
of interest,in the
as center

passage from the Soames-Irene


of contrast
the principle

to

is the clue

This

alternation

is

the

to

is

being followed.

unity of effect of

the whole.

The

characters

diverse

of

blocks

between

not

tion,
rela-

the Soames-Annette

complicatedintrigue,as
in Dickens, but between
mens
finelycontrasted or graded speciof true
Forsyte, mongrel Forsyte,and non-Forsyte
humanity, considered always by reference to the Forsyte
diverse

carryingon

of life is

the Forsyte view


then, finally,

And

public affairs by

take such

vivid

the

Boer

War,

interest. The

in which

and

the characters

toward

the

by the Forsytestoward
principleof suzeraintyinvoked

the

in South

Africa

in his relations

The

symbolized

British attitude

privateproperty,
the
to justify
invoked
by Soames

is like that taken

Boers

war

in

of life.

view

in

action

is the

with

lines of "To

same

as

are

even

that

Irene.

Let'*

simpler than

those

of

Chancery"; but here too there is a considerable use of


and
tire
contrast
Altogether,throughout the enparallelism.
series of Forsytenovels, as well as in Galsworthy'sother
the
lavished
work, there is much
cunning artistry
upon
"In

elaborate
much

system

could

of cross-reference

be said of the deftness

displayedby

Mr.

Galsworthy

and
and

in the

And
implication.
refinement

of touch

development of

his

method.
What

is

the relative

probably more
want

urgent, however,

of force, depth,and

is

to

in
solidity

signalize
his effects

brought into comparison with the greatest of his


Mann, Marcel Proust, Sigrid
contemporaries,like Thomas
toy,
as
Undset, or with such of his predecessors
Fielding,TolsHardy. While the work
George Eliot, Zola, or Thomas
of these men
givesthe effect of paintingin oils,rich, deep,
and luminous, the effect of Galsworthy is rather that of
at
water-colors, at its best full of life,charm, and delicacy,
when

JOHN
life of little Johann,"
which
in the

GALSWORTHY
or

that section of "The

the

recounts

There

257

experienceof

Hans

tain"
Magic MounCastorp lost

is

nothingcomparable,in the way of


solid and leisurely
developmentof a situation, to the opening
of the Native'* or of "Adam
chaptersof "The Return
Bede."
There
are
no
parable
singlechaptersin Galsworthy comfor handling, with
authorityand in extenso, a
of pernumber
singleoccasion involvinga considerable
sons,
with any one
of a dozen chaptersin Zola's "Nana,"
or
those in "L'Assommoir"
presentingthe fightat the lavoir,
the wedding of Gervaise, or the night when
or
she takes to
the streets. There
is no
series of chapterscomparable for
Bede"
continuityof tragicinterest with those in "Adam
recounting Hetty's"Journey in Hope" and her "Journey
in Despair,"or those followingon
the wedding of Tess
Durbeyfield,or those leadingto the death of Eustacia Vye
and Wildeve.
There
is no situation so fullyrendered
and
with such authorityof realistic art as that of Sophia Baines
the night of the public execution
on
that of
at Auxerre, or
Emma
Bovary on the last day of her life.
The
difference
is partlyone
of emotional
force. Galsworthy
simply has not the power of the great writers to
of
moments
present in all their poignancy the supreme
human
That
tachment
and depassionand suffering.
Englishreserve
which
have sometimes
been representedas artistic
snow.

merits

in him

are

emotionally.He is
human
but
feeling,

he

also the gage of his low temperature


the shores of
near
gracefulswimmer
into the

deep waters.
His characters suffer, like well-bred
mental
people, from sentiwhich
real enough in their way.
are
deprivations
But they remain
well bred in the very core
of their being;
they suffer the mild pains of the well-to-do. They do not
to have
seem
come
break
up againstthe stony walls which
the hearts of common
people.They do not feel the pinch
of life as Edwin
Clayhanger feels it,or Esther Waters, or
Michael

Henchard,

or

never

ventures

Kristin

Lavransdatter.

is

Nor

in

conscious

one

Galsworthy of

of their intellectual
hard

anything so

and

the sheer

weight

in the greater writers is one


He does not look at
stature.

which

of realistic observation
measure

NOVEL

TWENTIETH-CENTURY

THE

258

has looked

Mann

Thomas

long as

at

chapter of "Buddenbrooks"
typhoid fever take the following

disease, for example, in that

beginning,
course,"

or

of

"Cases

as

looked

Bennett

in

"Clayhanger,"let alone the


at
Egdon Heath or in which
Vauquer in "Le Pere Goriot."
does

He

Forsyte houses,

deftness

of

Hardy

detail the interiors

of

aptness of phrase and

much

does

somehow

one

which

similar

dimensions

looked
Maison

regarded the

Balzac

draftsmanship.But

of three

sense

with

printing-machine

in which

way

in considerable

describe

various

the

the old

at

not

have

descriptions

give one in Balzac, Hardy, or Bennett. And while he has a


character^
of his settings,
good deal to say of the representative
tones
they do not carry with them the intellectual overNo
worthy
of the great masters.
physicalobject in Galsstands so unmistakably for symbol and fact at one
and
the same
time
as
Maggie's slop-pailin ''The Old
Wives'

Tale."

Galsworthy does
make

one

visual

see

not

which

have

in

indicates

high degree that facultyto


in

in
imagination.No scene
as that moonlight scene

in ''The
fakir exhumes

Master

an

author

his work

is

intenseness
so

minated
vividlyillu-

in the Adirondack

of Ballantrae"

in which

of

the

ness
wilderIndian

No spot of
body of the buried master.
earth is so magicallyset before us as the stretch of road to
Casterbridgefollowed by Fanny Robin on her way to the
poor-house,or the interior of Captain Anthony's cabin in
"Chance."
of that power,
Galsworthy has none
possessed
by Hardy and Dickens and Victor Hugo, of followingwith
intent curiosity
the movements
of a figureseen
in a landscape.
He has not
the facultyof bringing all the powers
of
vision to a focus upon some
singlespot or figurethus made
the

)X"absorb the entire

of
energies
imaginative

the reader.

CENTER

OF

INTEREST

259

tional,
genius is a mystery. These various faculties emoto
intellectual,imaginative are not to be reduced
less
the mechanical
of technique.But there is nevertheterms
relation between
creative geniusand the methods
some
which
it follows to attain its ends. And
parative
Galsworthy'scomof force is associated with his inability
to rewant
gard
for any length of
or
objectsteadily
any person, place,

Now,

"

"

time.

chapters in any of his


confined
the events
of a singleday is found
books
in
to
White
Part II of "The
Monkey," chaptersI-VII (pp. 1 15remarks
that with
one
184). But here at once
virtually
The
first chapter
every chapter there is a change of center.
Probably

the

longest series

Victorine's, the third Michael's, the

is Soames's, the second


fourth

of

fifth Fleur's, the sixth Michael's

and

Victorine's.

And

again,and

the

merely that. But within


the several chaptersthere is a constant
change of scene as the
one
place to another and is
passes from
person concerned
engaged with different people.In the first chapter Soames
with Annette
takes part in four distinct scenes
at Mapledurham, with strangers in the railwaycarriagegoing up to
seventh

not

"

London,

with

firm, and

in die Board

the chairman
This

his

in the office of his law

Gradman

man

of

Room

joint-stock
company

with

of the board.

is

perfectlytypicalof Galsworthy'sprocedure.His
characters never
can
place or in the presstay in any one
ence
of
of one
forever
are
people.They
scurrying
group
about
like ants.
This makes
restlessly
impossibleanything
like a reallyconstituted and
And
well-developedscene.
since he is forever passingfrom one
character
to another,
be nothing like that continuous
there can
followingof a
singlecharacter which we have throughout "Clayhanger"
or

the entire third book

Very often,

chapter
"

true

moreover,

that he chooses

in "The

Man

of "The

Old

it is in
to

of

Wives'

Tale."

midstream

change

"

horses. This

Property,"which

within
is

the

larly
particu-

remains, in

spiteof everything,probably
novels.

Over

and

the

most

in individual

over,

important of his
chapters,no sooner

sympatheticinterest engaged with

is our

asked

are

we

NOVEL

TWENTIETH-CENTURY

THE

26o

transfer

to

another, with
for

a
necessarily
example Chapter XI,

ner
of a dinbegins with an account
house, includingSoames, Irene, Bosinney,
the
objectivelyfrom
dialogue rendered
It

"June'sTreat."

Soames's

at

to

force. Consider

loss in emotional
entitled

it

than

character

one

and

June, the
point of view of an imaginary observer. There follows an
from
account
June's point of view of her attending the
coldness of
theater with Bosinney and the unaccountable
her fianc",culminating in his refusal to take her on Sunday
house. The
reader is ready to give his whole
the new
to see
heart to June in this pitiful
situation, when
suddenly the
from her and Bosinney to persons so entirely
author
turns
place
strange to us that it is with a great effort that we can
read of June:
them at all. We
The

house

could

one

think

man

see

had

mercifullydarkened

been

her

trouble.

himself

from

immune

behind, Euphemia, Nicholas's


sister,Mrs. Tweetyman,

Timothy's, how

had

they

in this world

Yet

observation.

for

crisis,and

no

Forsyteslet

no

of
In

the third

row

second
were

seen

ried
daughter, with her marwatching. They reported at
June and her fianc" at the

theatre.

follows

There

half

ladies, presumably
back

a
on

page
the

of

the

conversation

followingday. We

of
then

these
come

to
June and follow her in her disconsolate return
her grandfather's
house. Then
than a page is devoted
more
Old
the chapter ends
with
to
Jolyon's reflections. And
June. "And
upstairsin her room
June sat at her open
window
where
the spring wind
after its revel across
came,
the park,to cool her hot cheeks and burn her heart."

to

This
to

touch

may
on

But

be

convenient

way to get the story told and


the wide
of persons and
interests involved.
range
it is obviouslyimpossible
on
any such system
a

DISPERSAL

INTEREST

OF

261

reallydeep impressionon either the sensibilities


indeed
be
the imagination of the reader. (Which may
or
for the great popularityof Galsworthy with
one
reason
It is an
wish to spare their sensibilities.)
readers who
ceptional
exMan
of Property" in which
chapter in "The
to

make

there

is

not

place that

and

person

occasions.

And

the

and

often
one

to

person

scene

same

constant

so

supposed to
thoughtsof others

when

even

shift

another

excursion

be

may
the lives and

deeply,into
one

such

more

or

one

remain

we

from
away
interest us

the
most

quite other

on

technicallywithin

throughout the chapter,there is


from objectiveto subjective,
from
the

as

of observation,

center

or

from

thoughts of one person to those of another, that our


distributed
interest and sympathy are
and dissipated
in
as
of the less successful panoramic tableaux
of Hogarth.
some
Thus
of fairly
Galsworthy'sfictions are made
up, not
narrative
character, as is the case
large units of uniform
the

with

Dickens,

powerful of
of

one

all

masters,

assembled

windows.

This

but

any
of innumerable

like the
method

of the

Tolstoy, or

most

small

bits of colored

bits

glass in

has

proved a very successful


for giving a general impressionof the Forsyte clan in
and it has evoked
its diversity,
no
protest from readers
like

who

story that

sparkle.Mr.
readers
But

depth

and

time.

moves

Galsworthy
as

any

has had

novelist

cannot

but

forward

with

liveliness and

and as astic
enthusimany
of equal distinction
in our
as

that this scrappy


and facile
of composition is the counterpart of a certain want

method
of

the old

fragments

Gothic

Eliot, Flaubert,

think

vigor of conception,a

certain

of temperament
reflected from
the
characters, so that they constantlymake

languid paleness

author
one

his
upon
think of the

of smart
mannequins displayed in the show-windows
department-stores.
I find myself drawn
in spiteof myself to breathe
the
word

"sentimentalism"
the

honesty and

in this connection.
fineness

of

spiritof

I do

not

tion
ques-

this writer,

nor

TWENTIETH-CENTURA

THE

the
does

not

go

of

kind

motives
the

Irene.

one

He

wonders

against

the

does

It

the

one

from

in

whether
corrosive

has

his

action

an

in

the
deft

colors
of

nice

human

time.

facile

are

There

simple

want

of

analysis

action.

of

this

And

Galsworthy's
stroke,

brush
such

too

stays

people.

imperfect

conception
and

It

deep.

it

But

goes.

from

results

involved

detects

of

it

as

very

view

which

forces

certainly

go

of

range

far

so

not

thoroughness,
and

sort

portraiture

sentimentalism

intellectual

the
is

of

his

far.

very
within

consistently
is

of

truthfulness

NOVEL

as

will

but
stand

XXII

VARIATIONS:

objection

HE

his
of

narratives
massive
of

and

of

Mrs.

interest.

of

clear

of
was

this
us

loyalty

to

the

could

trace

it is in
the

rare

creature

is

ideal

for

husband

the

and
element

or

worn

of

mirror
shoddiness

takes

more

in

her

both

are

of

whose
It

touch.
for

is

he

who

character
of

him,

quality; something

shabby;

of

steel

Niel's

disillusionment

of her

character

nature.

trayed
por-

eyes,

appreciation

was

the

ably,
prob-

it is that

Forrester's

her

felt,

is

work,

shown.

Mrs.

"

he

"That,

of

single

which

delicacy

through

"value"

growing
more

and

stance
circum-

always

weakness

Herbert,

become

never

pleasure
the

him.

piece

and

long

over
new

(1923),

best

her

tive
narra-

significance.

Niel

railroad-builder

And
we

to

Lady"

Lost

worthy.
Gals-

small

interest
each

that

in

the

almost

humanness

young

part,

have

charm

much

so

and

power

Gather
"A

of

center

some

from

them

of

But

is

there

observed

fragment,
of

whose

is also

her

that

new

things considered,

most

her

each

In

have

assemblage

single

Willa

of

novelists.

saves

we

its increment

with

makes

which

tem
sys-

Lewis,

Sinclair

mentioned,

which

the

extent,

Hamsun,

authors

than

rather

units

contemporary

it is the

that

so

Forrester

the

the

effect

around

novels

There

in

often

adds

Knut

that

simply

not

considerable

composition

Most

stretches,

to

is

small

many

powerful

of

units

of

of

Bennett,

scrappiness

all

is,

speaking,

principle

of

This

other

generally

center

up

scenes.

many

The

built

UNDSET

method

Galsworthy's

to

are

Arnold

SIGRID

place

of

Thus

as

what
the

cus."
Damasthat
the

love

for

Niel

book

is

SINCLAIR

full

implicationsof
steadilyin force and
There

is

have

Babbitt

toward

There

is

he

So

sees.

365
that the

thing grows

momentum.

plot than in Galsworthy.


evolution
in the
significant

less

even

plot,we

what

LEWIS

the social order

of which

place of

In

attitude

forms

he

of

part.
XXII,

long block of chapters,say from XII to


of
kind
which
his steady rise to popularity and
trace
a
affluence through his shrewd
and energeticplaying of the
the
subscribingheartilyto all the loud vulgarities,
game
social superstitions
and
hypocrisieswhich constitute the
which
creed of his class. But there is something in Babbitt
him
the oppressionof this philistinmakes
restless under
ism. It is partly conscience
and
open-mindedness;it is
partlythe dreariness of his home life and the desire of the
tinguish
dis"old Adam"
in him
So that we
his fling.
to have
may
another
XXIII
to XXXIV,
long block of chapters,
a

"

which

ends

is of

He

to

Citizens'
him

revolt.

carry through his rebellion


dominant
forces of the Boosters1

enough
and

Babbitt's

trace

League.

He

the furtive

than

with

thingswhich

sort

is

too

of

finds

that

not

course

strong

againstthe organized
Club

his wife

pleasuresof Bohemia.
cringing submission

and
means

Good
to

more

And
to

the

an

the story
order
of

strong for him.

It is this

gether
continuityof theme and issue which, taken towith the singlecenter
of interest and the consistency
its
of tone, give to "Babbitt"
its bold and simple outlines
the head
of continuity,it
effect of composition. Under
should
be remarked, further, that Mr. Lewis
is capable of
book, the first seven
devoting one
quarter of the whole
chapters,to a singletypicalday in the life of his central
far as I know, in the
character
so
something unparalleled,
work
of Galsworthy.
of course
the other
It may
be urged, on
hand, that
lacks the live effect given by the variation of
Lewis's work
of Galsworthy'smethod.
And
I do
coloring,the nuances
not
pretendthat Lewis's is the ideal way of presentinghu"

"

TWENTIETH-CENTURY

THE

266

that

nature;

man

of Thomas

it has, for
Mann

or

NOVEL

example,

Emile

the

and

depth
is

Zola. There

timacy
in-

often

too

generalizingof
burlesque.There is too much
incidents
and
the subjectby the author. The
characters
often have the effect of cleverlychosen
documents
or
too
exhibits. One
feels this most
stronglyperhaps in "Arrowsmith"
for ballyhoo in
(1925),where the author's scorn
scientist
admiration
science and his deep-felt
for the true
in
call for a treatment
less "smart"
and topical,
and more
the key of imaginativewriting.
portance,
imBut one
cannot
deny the truth, the representative
of these
documents;
can
nor
one
deny Mr.
the
Lewis's skill in arranging his material
to have
so
as
fullest effect in the forum
of publicopinion.
the

in

of

note

Probably the best example we can


of narrative
handling this manner
is

work

as

fine

an

instance

as

we

find of

genius
positive
Her
is SigridUndset.
cite of

can

of

feature

story-telling
technique so characteristic of our time that it
is worth
a special
sponds
chapter.It is a technique which correof regarding life. The
to a specialway
story-teller
is inclined
broad

and

number

to

massive

of critical

of small

of life

conceive

made

up

not

culminating in

movements,

but

scenes,

as

rather

of

an

of

few

limited

infinite

sion
succes-

breaking on the shore of human


ence
experiand little by little modifying its shape and aspect. And
there is a correspondingdisposition
to a finer modeling of
the outlines. In this technique the ordinary chapter is a
of many
small bits of story. The
composite arrangement
action is slow; and while
the plot may
be there, the emphasis
waves

is rather

on

the

feel and

texture

of life under

tain
cer-

conditions.
In

"Kristin

breadth

of

Lavransdatter"

movement,

an

(1920-22) there

is

an

epic

encyclopedicinclusiveness

of

SIGRID

family life

UNDSET

in its broader

267

aspects, extending

to

comprehensive
of
want

is no
survey of a whole social order. There
distinctness of outline and intention; at times the effect is

sharplydramatic,
of

boldness

death.

Sigrid Undset is not


culminating dramatic

of those

parts that make

in which

is built up

Kristin

the infinite detail and

the

"

suspense
is
But what

of

art

of the

modeling

worked-up

of life and

matters

in the

with

the

over

the

most

able
remark-

come
out-

and

adequacy
but

scenes

the

fine

of the narrative,

the bulk

little by little the domestic

situation

of

varietyof documentation,
of the rapidlysucconcreteness
ceeding

minute

intimacy and
picturesof her life as

of the house.

Very

suited

well

mother

wife and

and

intention

author's

to the

mistress
is the

tions
long chaptersdivided into many smaller secseparatedby double spacing.
of
in the opening chapter of "The
Mistress
Thus
first see
we
Husaby" (the second book of the trilogy),
Kristin arrivingby boat at the landing-place
at Birgsi,
pale
and
strain of pregnancy
and woebegone with the double
the following morning
then
travel by sea, and
met
by
Erlend's friends and trying to disguiseher illness and low
her riding across
In the second
section we
the
see
spirits.
use

of rather

her husband's

hillside toward

livelyyoung
into

Then

men.

the house

where

shows

three

her

follow

we

she is

escorted

home,

to

her

be mistress. The

days later,after

the

her

this theme

husband's
to

is made

kinsman

further

Ulf.

There

in

Then

Erlend

come

the
In

contrast

the

tion
sec-

the arrangement
dramatic
the more
the

the

with

following

conversation

follows

accidentallymakes

fourth

household,

new

of
specification

of the house.
that in which

dramatic

troop of

departure of

reviewing her impressionsof the


ill husbandry that prevails
there, and
father's well-regulated
establishment.

section

her into the church, and

guests,
the

by

section
and

with
voted
deduct
con-

sections:

discoverythat
Kristin
is pregnant
her by showing himself
and
angers
concerned
than happy in the prospect
more
at the scandal

268

THE

of their
visit

TWENTIETH-CENTURY

having a child;

and

those in which

neighboringestate,

with

ending

their

NOVEL

and

he takes

they quarrel on

reconciliation

and

her

the

to

way,

turn
companionable re-

home.

Thus,

in

perhaps a

twelve

score

life of these
several

over

another

sections, are

separate

of distinct

weeks, and

in the

others
of

course

in the

moments

passionatelovers
one

"

brieflytouched
early married

of them

some

distributed

followingrapidlyupon one
day'shorseback excursion
"

which

the
developscenically

that is

to

strained

characterize their whole

emotional

situation

life

togetherand gradually
disclose the first rift in their happiness.Each distinct
picturedrives in its little golden nail, as James would say,
and the drama
and depth of significance
grows in intensity
with every lightdeft touch of the artist'sbrush.
Some
attention should be given to the practice
of punctuating
the narrative by double
spacingbetween the sections.
Such
punctuation, so important in this kind of composition,
is entirely
wanting in Galsworthy.And this fact sets
him apart from
the largenumber
of novelists of our
time
who

have

made

There
which

use

of it.

several

are

of

indicatingthe sections
with the passingfrom one

ways

chapter is made

or

one

up,
of
view
to another.
point

regularlyused by SigridUndset
of Hamsun

and

("Early Autumn"),
Willa
writers. In Mr.
serves

the

Edith

is

Wharton,

Sherwood

The
more

casion
oc-

double-spacing
occasional

of Louis

Anderson

of

ture
fea-

Bromfield

("Many

riages"),
Mar-

Cather, and
Anderson's

other
many
contemporary
"Dark
Laughter" a line of dots

in Aldous
ter
purpose;
Huxley's "Point Counit is a line of asterisks. Where
the division into

same

Point"

sections is

regular,as in Bennett, Lewis, Rolvaag,


Bromfield
("Twenty-Four Hours"), the common
device is
to divide
the chapter into sections indicated by roman
or
arabic numerals.
Writers who
this method
use
are
likelyto
be such

as

more

deal in the "extravert"

type of characters,char-

who

acters

its

live

269

the fact; and

greatlyin

definite

and

neat

SECTIONS

OF

USE

increment

of

each

section

brings

objectiveincident

or

drama.
vices
deof separateness are
essentially
intended
for the greater convenience
for punctuation,
indications

such

Now,

of the reader.

And

if

of Marcel

find the work

we

Proust,

is that,
example, difficult reading,one obvious reason
diversified by
in a narrative
very little brightened and
dialogue,he has made the least possibleuse of paragraph
division, lines of dots, double spacing,or any other major
mark
of punctuation;and the result is a certain Teutonic
of page after page of unbroken
ens
frightsolidity
prose, which
the most
enterprisingreader.
But the matter
to
disposition
goes deeper than that. The
take advantage of these aids to clearness is indicative of a

for

certain

fastidiousness

order; it often

pointsof
the

writer

has

much

concerned
in

with

of

very

for the niceties

the several parts of the narrative


musical
between
phrases;and

contact

indicate

to

with

common

bility
still,
a sensi-

clearlywhere

the musician

they

concerned

to

pauses in a pieceof music


finish the effects of staccato
and

exact

fact of
and

contact

transition

devices
tends

to

that indicate
make

the

serve
obto

legato.

the

points

writer

more

tive.
pointsin the narraIn order that the several moments
shall produce the
effects in combination,
it is important that each one
surest
should infallibly
effect with distinctnes
particular
produce its own
and the exact
degree of emphasis assignedto it.
The
point of higheststrategicimportance in the section

sensitive

is

to

likelyto

the

using the

fall

and

the
preciseness

with

render
The

pointsof

and

neatness

finished phrase.The
perfectly

of the

between

contact

like the

for

makes

and, further

arrangement,

the attraction

to

which

taste

impliesa superiorconcern

of classification and

are

of

be

values
strategic

the

end.

What

of these

is said

quietlysaid; its deeper significance


may
than

but
explicit;

we

know

how

there
be

be

may

very
rather
implicit

often, in books

as

in life,

the

the

to

stressed.
disguisedand unlittle thingsthat give one
a

thingsappear
significant

most

In

clue

NOVEL

TWENTIETH-CENTURY

THE

270

life there

are

importance

many
of remarks

thus

of

demure

most

aspect:

tation,
something in the inflection of the voice, an instant's hesileft unfinished.
a slight
gesture, the sentence
the French,
Many skilful novelists, especiallyamong
make
frequentuse of the line of dots followinga statement
writers like Sigrid Undset
indicate a pause. And
are
to
It is instinctively
of the value of double-spacing.
well aware
brief a pause
accompanied on the reader's part by however
does well to place at the
the author
for reflection,and
so
end

which

word

some

like

he would

to

have

sink

into the

reader's consciousness.

is, moreover,

There

an

esthetic

gain

in the

given by the slightbreak in the text that one


is beginning. However
complete and another
moments

two

are

related, they
have

intimation

thing is now
closelythe

yet distinct, and

are

with

the

impression of startingat a
the cumulative
effect of one
thing added
itself flows in to give an air of finality
Time
to
to another.
And
still further, this little device may
the past experience.
and
lend a specialflexibility
mobility to the narrative.
the intimation
With
given by the break, the author may
transitional phrase,and,
often dispense with an elaborate
that
stroke, with some
generalizingstatement
by the same
the concreteness
of his pictured story.
down
would
water
forward
the action
with
And
moves
so
crispnessand
this

slightpause
later point,with

and
sparkle,
No

with

we

ever

accelerated

sufficient illustration

of

motion.

these

effects

be

can

given

extensive

detailed comment
quotationand more
than is here possible.
Instead, something may be said
in generalcompositionalscheme
of the breadth
made
sible
posdetail may
be
by this technique.Many an exquisite
in which
worked
would
perforcebe excluded from a chapter
line of a single
designed to trace the broad unbroken
without

dramatic

more

scene.

There

is here

room

for many

circum-

UNDSET

SIGRID
stance

which

which

is full of

first blush,

at

subtle

irrelevant, but

seem

establishingharmonic

overtones,

beauty,and which in the end falls


great precisionin the largercompositional

of the

relations

into

might,

271

rarest

place with

effect.

Erlend,

at

love

of his unabated

his

on

how
In

he would

case

has

he

Kristin

now

might

in the

As

cut

chance

in the

basking

round

came
on

house

his staff,with

looked

pursed
every
other

hand

Kristin

note.

Her

women.

smile

that is all. The


at

this

the ideal

the

it with
beautiful

any

and

but

way

the
of

he

which

has

set

evening,

hasty movement,
days ago, at
many
a

was

blue

warm

air.

his

Geirmund

limping,dragging himself
his eldest

on

stood

a
so

the

They

remind

us

love. She

general terms,

lightest
conveying to

bird.wThe
copy
off, amidst

stress.
us

nor

And
the

does
to

of
.

some

The

wish

bear

down

thinks

thor,
au-

and

acuteness

not

she

too,

well-nigh

enough.

of the

He

boy,

could

is clear

along

shoulder.

son's

little way
fair as she listened

intention

point,wishes to
qualityof Simon's

of it in bald

it of himself

had
stood
about,
troop of them"
High above them, in a birch-tree,

corner,

one

was

thickets.

Not
.

mimicked
up, stopped, and
his mouth
and
whistled.

bird

And

us

the

in

again at

open

midday sun.
into
robin, piping out

woody

saving

There

man!

the birds, toward

with
the

in

so

believe

section

pain

feast, they" a whole

Easter

sat

him

lived.

now
sitting
himself
going

he

wedded

could

the

in the skin bursts

gave

that he

wet

memory

was

and

been

he

springsnow,
trill in
to pipe and
starting
out

ing
mus-

by Halfrid,

have

"And
.

follows

." Then

witless but

been

has

himself

busied

have

Jorundgaard, a widow
about, maybe, rueing that

scious
acutely con-

altered if that child had

at

so

become

for Kristin. He

been
not

the life of Erlend, and

naught

after his breach

life,the child he has had

own

his life might have


that

when

time

the

in

included

tiny section

presents the misery of Simon

chapterwhich
with

Cross/' is

"The

in

Such,

to

tell

upon
of this

impression desired,

XXIII

THE

OIGRID
made

UNDSET

with

novel

of

long lapse
dramatic

while

from

the

the

dramatic

have

we

and

greater
of

the

ideals.

Her

books

of

that

found

in

James

of

of

Kristin,

of view

observed

of

is

there

ilk.

considerable

narrative

the

his

and

number

large

very

the

limited

neatly

for

room

are

with

type,

admit

has

part

view

from

biographical

not

well-

way

long

or

do

and

limitation

characters.

is

presented
like

nothing
and

by James

the
of

many

followers.
back

Coming
but

observe
a

time

the

and

place

this

of

coming

(1906)

covers

(1920)

as

the

to

the

spring.

"The
time

period

from

the

period
It

the

June,

or

to

be

of

slightly over

whole

April
one

"unities"

autumn

or

observed

action

month.

the

of

novels,
worthy
Gals-

domination
of

one

erty"
Propcery"
Chan-

"In

(1921)

is

years

if

Man

of

series

and

of
as

the

Let"

(1907), Galsworthy

strictly,the

twenty-eighth

the

spring

however,

House"

more

of

the

all, and

October

to

books

from

should,

Country
still

later

in

"To

years,

May

thirty

"The

half

last

years,

under

While

and
two

the

cannot

we

series

Forsyte

more

tendency.

as

the

of

with

and

year

the

In

grows

much

of

one

novel.

more

in

observance

time

fashionable

to

each

the

limitation,

tendency

narrower

in

of

matters

growing

and

narrower

were

of

these

to

limitation

the

to

us

inclusiveness

point

rigorous

to

special

episodes

And

his

its

which

issue

historical

taken

years,

panoramic

Her

has

chronicle

the

of

distinctly

UNITIES

is

year,

similarly
from

that
had

fined
con-

and
fined
con-

autumn

already
limited

in
his

taking place

tween
be-

third

lowing
fol-

of

the

274

THE

Many
period

of

NOVEL

TWENTIETH-CENTURA

the

of

novels

shorter

than

the

Hergesheimer
in

average

are

limited

to

Galsworthy: "Java

months; "Cytherea" (1922)


(1919) three summer
and
"The
Bright Shawl"
(1922) within the framework
of the elderlygentleman
supplied by the memories
rather less. In Hemingway's "The
Sun
Also Rises" (1926)
the period is reduced
months; in Huxley's "Antic
to two
Counter
in his "Point
or
Hay" (1923) to a month
so, and
if I reckon
Point" (1928)to a little over
a month,
correctly.
Ethel Sidgwick's "Le
Gentleman"
(1911) passes between
time in June and July 14. Norman
some
Douglas's "South
Head"

"

"

Wind"

down

(1917) brings us

weeks, while

(1932)

to

"Nocturne"

the sirocco blows, and


little

(1917) offers

is confined

to

the

"Ulysses,"though
to

the

events

novel

Phil

week.

Fair"

Stong's"State
Frank

in which

two

Swinnerton's

the^entire

action

singlenight,thus anticipating
"Ulysses"(1922).
most
unusually long book, is all
of

events

Joyce'sperformance
confined

than

more

less than

somewhat

to

in
a

of

twenty-four hours,

and

has

sumably
pre-

novelists. Mr.
practiceof many
Bromfield
advertises this aspect of technique in the very
title of his "Twenty-Four Hours"
(1930).Virginia Woolf
in "Mrs.
other
Dalloway" (1925) follows Joyce, among
things,by confiningthe action to less than a twenty-fourhour day.
influenced

Rex

Stout, in "How
considerable

the

Like

historyin

God"

(1929),while

he

cludes
in-

musings
retrospective
of his central character, yet limits in a particularly
curious
the occasion
which
all these musings take place.
on
way
is climbing the stairs to an apartment
The
man
on
an
per
upfloor. The
indicated by passages
are
stages of his ascent
in italics at the head of each of the sixteen chapters,
with
what happens on
his arrival briefly
disposedof at the end
of the sixteenth. The
body of each chapterconsists of that
during a small stage in his
part of his historyreviewed
Thus
the whole
of the story passes through his
ascent.
a

the

THE

mind

UNITIES

275

in the brief time

stairs. It is

required to climb these


interestingtechnical performance, and

very
the culmination

writing.There
as

of several
is first the

often

so

tendencies

in

illustrates
novel-

current

ward,
tell the story backAnderson's
in Sherwood

tendency to

in Conrad,

as

"Many

Marriages" (1923)and "Dark


Laughter" (1925).
The
from a constituted present, again,
looping backward
generallyaccompanies the tendency to present the story
the part of one
of the characters.
on
through retrospection
There
is much
of this in Joyce,in VirginiaWoolf.
In Miss
Gather's

"The

caught

in the

top of

Professor's

House"

Professor

Peter,

St.

demic
commonplace and of acahis
dwell
routine, lets his mind
frequentlyupon
childhood
and other more
romantic
periodsin his life.The
colorful circumstance
most
of all was
his acquaintancewith
Tom
and it
Outland, inventor and amateur
archaeologist;
is his retrospective
lead
which
Outland
musings on Tom
of the young
man's
to the introduction
diary,giving an
of his discoveryof a lost Mexican
account
pueblo on the

three

desert

books

web

of domestic

into which

otherwise

somewhat

making

of the whole
the

Moreover,

keep

her

of

current

Miss

way

and

past in "Shadows

not
on

composition of

Harlowe"

so

an

successful

the Rock"

orthodox
"

of the

second
It

of

the

crosses

of vivid color,
charm.

considerable

enables

the

the whole

give to
reality.
is

its band

story with

within

to

Gather

is divided.

it is introduced

"Clarissa

the

constitutes

the novel

drab

story proper

Richardson's

months,

This

mesa.

the author
limits

twelve

since

"

calendar

air of compactness
in her

evocations

(1931).There

to

is here

and

of the
a

very
information

historical
of biographical
and
large amount
much
it is conveyed not
so
to be conveyed, and
through
retrospectionon the part of the characters as through
the Rock,"
on
straightexpositionby the author. "Shadows
however,
belongs to the specialgenre of historical novels,
of noveland is not to be judged by the ordinarystandards

is able

that she

set

of

sort

realitythat
Madox

Elizabeth

unique distinction of SigridUndhistorical events


the
give to remote

to

associate with

we

(1930),that

has

Roberts

be

must

contemporary

been

this kind

something of

do

NOVEL

is the almost

writing.It

to

TWENTIETH-CENTURY

THE

276

in

able, in
"The

judged again

Great
as

life. If

lesser way,
Meadow"

very

special

achievement.

Laughter" virtuallythe whole story is presented


of
the
reminiscences
Bruce
through
musing
Dudley
and Aline; in "Many Marriages" a great part is presented
in this way and still more
of his life
through the account
the night
given by the father to his daughter, all on
"Dark

In

the story comes


to its crisis.This
one
nightoccupies
fourths of the whole
book, and the action of the rest

when
three

few

only a

covers

weeks'

time,

that

so

"Many^ Marriages" is

striking
example of limitation in time. In all these
the dramatic
the tendency is to make
books
the
present
which
is the culminating moment
of the
here-and-now
for the earlier stages, given in
story a sort of framework
And
the most
formal and deliberate example
retrospection.
Like a God."
of this techniqueis "How
curious example of a similar techniqueis ChrisAnother
topher
the Left"
on
Morley'sfanciful invention "Thunder
of this story is a children's birthday
framework
The
(1925).
another

"

"

"

at

party

seaside

the children

resort.

makes

In

wish

the

course

before

of the party

blowing out

one

of

the candles

birthdaycake. He wishes to spy upon the grown-ups


and learn whether
they reallydo have a good time. And
of these very children
this results in the magical projection

of the

into
same

man's

estate

place.The

grown-up
the end
that the
inserted

some

body

twenty-one

years

later and

in the

of the story presents the life of these

gatheredtogetherfor a picnic.But in
return
we
to the original
birthdayparty and realize
inserted narrative is a mere
of the fancy.The
flight
narrative covers
less than two
days'time, and the
children

UNITIES

THE

framework

here-and-now

277

the

only

of the

hours

few

dren's
chil-

party.
Mr.
actual

Morley, however,
here-and-now

the

the first

not

was

to

make

point of departurefor

some

fanciful

to it. In Cabell's
"Jurgen"
flightfrom realityand return
to his
(1919) the middle-aged pawnbroker, coming home
wife in the evening after puttingup the shutters of his shop,
of the great god Koshchei, who
made
incurs the gratitude
all thingsas they are, by having a kind word
to say for evil
and is rewarded
that is,for thingsas they are
by being
restored to the vigor and intellectual curiosityof youth.
And
so, transmogrified
by the fine shirt of Nessus, he is
permitted to go through a great variety of adventures
in the long run
do not give him
which
a good time, but
him
Lisa and all
make
to his scoldingwife
glad to return
"

"

the

comforts

of

use

and

wont.

His

to
imaginary return
Martin's
imaginary promotion

youth is the exact oppositeof


to maturity,his adventures
of
and the moral
improbability,
complexion. But there is a
technical schemes

of the

have

an

air of romantic

the tale has

rather

close resemblance

books.

ferent
dif-

in the

In

aginary
"Jurgen" the imadventures
of the hero are supposed to occupy
just
while the framework
here-and-now
a twelvemonth,
brings
him back to the same
evening on which he set out.
have
been
What
we
discussingso far is the aggregate
time

of action
whole

in

covered

within

story

these
but

covers

close succession

novel

two

as

whole.

As

for continuities

limits, it is obvious
a

few

weeks

there

that
is

where

likelyto

be

a
a

days, with seldom any intervals to be


bridged.This is notably the case in "South Wind/' "Cythit is also
Sun Also Rises." And
erea," "Antic Hay," "The
likelythat certain individual days will be developed at
considerable
of
one

of

length.In
days to which

day, that

Wind"

"South

are

many

stances
in-

chaptersare devoted, and


to hold
eruption,continues

several

of the volcanic

there

chapters.In "Point
first twenty-four hours
the
occupy
attention
through the first twelve chapters(155
than one
third of the book.
or
more
my edition),
less than

the stage through no


Point"
Counter
the
author's

pages in
It is stillmore

day

less

or

NOVEL

TWENTIETH-CENTURY

THE

obvious
have

we

action

which

follow

Mrs.

that where
extreme

an

noted

we

seven

Dalloway

in

the

hour

by

length that

such

of Dublin

panorama
with
one

the

We

through the twelve


"Ulysses"is divided into
make

the

up

twenty-

life,these episodesare

another, and
it has

Dostoevski.

hour

while
of her exposure. And
number
of major episodeswhich

four-hour

of

novels

hours
a

the aggregate time is one


of that continuityof
case

each

is

one

and

massiveness

tinuous
con-

developed at
solidityof a

story by itself.

"unity of place,"this is rather tfyerule in the


in this chapter."Java Head"
all takes
novels mentioned
placein the villageof Salem; "The Bright Shawl" (within
"Le
Gentleman"
its reminiscent
framework) in Havana;
for the

As

in Paris

or

Wind"

its environs; "South

on

the little island

of

Nepenthe (presumably Capri); "Ulysses" in Dublin;


restricted portion of London;
"Mrs. Dalloway" in a fairly
"Twenty-Four Hours"
(following the example of Dos
Manhattan
Passos's "Manhattan
Island;
Transfer") on
"Thunder

parents

on

at

the Left"

their

in and

about

the house

of Martin's

"Many Marriages"
its little village
of Wisconsin
resort;

summer

and

and
Laughter" each in
Indiana, respectively.
Very few of the novelists I have cited in this chapter as
novel except
examples of the "unities" suggest the well-made
and superficial
in such mechanical
ways. Mr. Douglas
in "South Wind," and, followinghim, Mr. Huxley in books
like "Crome
Yellow," "Antic
Hay," and "Point Counter
"Dark

Point"
with

are

concerned

not

so

much

their intellectual hobbies.


who
but

have

with

They

are

dramas
people's
interested

something amusing to say. Their


vaguelythe problems of those caught in

as

in people

books
the web

gest
sugot

UNITIES

THE

What

rhetoric

and

futility

of

One

is

tenuous

the

their

of the

his

in

of

while

are

novel.

novel

seriously

strings along

has

pointed

out

has

the

has

proper

sufficiently

literary

from

in

stem

from

been

only

tion,
tradi-

main

novelist

if

people,

as

Love

and

in

the

and

(1816)

one

and

genre,

wit

Hall"
one

grow

of

Thomas
he

much

not

The

"bourgeois"

when

very

do

they

which

France,

they

one,

people

And

character

silliness

of

"Headlong

Anatole

with

each

of

them

dialogues

(1818).

of the

tree

little

neat

fine

inception
taken

reminded

Abbey"

suggested that,
and

representative.

life.

daily

exigencies

is the

plots

kinship

the

special variety

romantic

"Nightmare

for

regard

the

constantly

and

Peacock

he

which

of

urgency

talk, in which

of

due

for

or

and

stress

pattern

with

opinions

utters

the

is

like

they

and

heat

living, the

actual

279

its

has

always

the

way

of

satire.
it

When
a

radical

the
a

that

novel

literary

revolution

methods

of

well-made

it is the
and
of

the

to

paradox

of

which

well-made
in

against

time
in

type

place,

it.

the

of

ideals

was

of

of
was

novel

that
the

to

is in

as

of

the

much

Indeed,
of

time

tendencies

greater
main

the

heritage

limitation

the

no

unlike

so

supplanters.
the

But

observance

characteristic

carried
which

reversal

regarded

and

situation

novel,

type

be

must

one

novel.

books

of

primarily

as

widespread
in

place

successors

the

them

complete

such

have

we

procedures

well-made

the

and

essence

its

the
a

and

technical

consider

to

involves

of

novel

that

from

have

predecessor,

its

unities

the

the

against

reaction

of

shall

we

following,

main

the

from

departure

his

and

Joyce

to

comes

tremes
ex-

protest

POINT

OF

VIEW

281

in the third person. But in the chaptersthemselves


him
reviewing the historywhich has brought him
this occasion.

stairwayon
which

is thus rendered.

reminding
chain

of

the

In

inner

this

discourse

is

He

of all he

talkingto himself, as
has been through
of
"

it were,
the

long

leadingto his present psychological


ment.
predicaso, through the body of this story, the leading
is always "you."
later novels

strong tendency to have


of view

it is his

to

causes

And
character

himself

And

have

we

of the characters

of

Sherwood

Anderson

there

is

the entire story told from the point


and to keep to that of a given character

point of
view during more
than half the book is unbrokenly that of
John Webster, the maker of washing machines, who feels
impelled in middle age to leave his wife and his native
and to explain to his daughter the reasons
for the
town,
failure of his married
life. During the latter half of the
book there is one
clearlydefined passage of about ten pages
in which
follow the thoughts of his wife, who
is being
we
abandoned
and whose
sensibilities have been outraged by
the brutal unveiling of her most
privatelife,and several
distinct passages in which
follow the thoughts of the
we
daughter,who has been converted to her father's way of
in the second
viewing things.But for the most
part, even
half of the book, it is the thoughts of the man
which
are
tirely
being followed, and the book closes with an account, enfrom his standpoint,
of his departurewith the woman
Natalie.
Quite similarlyin "Dark
Laughter" the main
the
body of the narrative is given through the impressions,
musings, the retrospectionof Bruce
Dudley, a factory
worker
in Old
Harbor, Indiana, beginning with the first
five books (129 pages),but with other largeblocks assigned
to the pointsof view of Bruce's
employer and his employer's
wife. In both of these novels, the author
is virtually
nowhere
formati
of inas
commentator
or
independent source
over

long space.

In

"Many

Marriages"

the

TWENTIETH-CENTURY

THE

*8s

The

novelist

the limited

techniqueof
work

each

has

who

NOVEL

constantlyresorted

most

point of view,

consistentlymaintained

most

and

who

the

to

has within

the limitations

sumed,
as-

it is
Joseph Hergesheimer. In "Linda Condon"
through the impressionsof Linda that the entire story is
given to us; in "Cytherea" through those of Lee Randon;
in "The
Bright Shawl" through the imaginationof Charles
Abbott, an old man
sittingin his chair and recallingthe
Not
of his youth in Cuba.
adventures
merely is each of
is

of the stage in his


these persons the invariable center
is given
there is of interpretation
story, but whatever

own

to

it

able to
by this central person. If the reader is occasionally
in certain of the characters
not
appreciatequalities
quite
understood
by Linda Condon, say, so young and inexperienced
as she is,if some
thingsare passedon to us over her
that is, of
she takes paVt,
in the dialogue in which
head
of enlargingthe scope of this
a recognizedmeans
course,
enlargement has often been made by
technique;the same

James,
Maisie
More

"The

and

notably

in

his story of

little

girl,"What

Knew."

however,
interesting,
Black
Three
Pennys"
makes

Hergesheimer

use

of

than

any

of these

books

are

"Java Head," in which


ing
James's technique of alternatand

Three
Black
points of view. In "The
but sucnot
cessive
Pennys" (1917)it is,more
strictly,
alternating
pointsof view that are offered. What Hergesheimer
takes for his subjecthere are three successive periodsin the
historyof a family of Pennsylvania iron-founders, with
of the family,the last two
episodesin the lives of three men
and

limited

descendants
Black

of

Pennys

the

because

first. These
of

an

three

ancient

in several

Pennys

Welsh

are

called

strain in them

generations,
showing itself
in a disposition
and a want
of conventionality.
to solitude
"Opposition'stheir breath." They are quite different in
The
first is young,
the second
age and general condition.
The
first is closely
middle-aged,the third an old man.

which

crops

out

once

"THE

bound
become
from

with

up
a

the influence

and

more,

with

of

later

give us

in these successive

As he

dies there he

followed
A

or

one

sensations

of his

ways
of
feeling the
So

essence,

story began
"a

sees

pattern of
is

who

ancestor

remote

in many

avatars.

the

the author

old

the

in

die

to

tranquilsky," which

the

through the point of


separatedin time, still in a
man,

exorably
past in-

"the

"

to

"

rendered

one

effort

some

generationsof experiencesand

And

name.

to

is

erary
lit-

and still
the pattern of the future"
of the
of mystic sense
a kind
successfully,

the first Howat.

same

altogether

become

and

character

the past. The


last Howat
returns
house
Shadrach
at
Furnace, where

utmost

far

there

But

heredityin

flyinggeese wavering across


of a vision
exact
repetition
the

business

into

more

relivingby
stone

the

artistic dilettante.

woven

from

with

has

second

the third has retired

man;

his connection

stress

283

family iron-founding;the

the

big business

and

PENNYS"

BLACK

THREE

an

bore

has done

his

continuityof experience
that if the three episodesare
view

of three

sense

that of the

one

may
Black

different
say

men,

that it is

Penny,

that

is

throughout.

somewhat

similar

method

by Hergesheimer in
his most
Tree"
book
"The
Limestone
recent
(1931),in
which
he presents ten separate episodesfrom the "saga" of
certain Kentucky families of honorable
and bloody memory.
Each episodeis given from the point of view of a character
closelyassociated with its main action. It is a striking
of the degree to which
evidence
Mr.
Hergesheimer is
committed
that he should have appliedit to
to this method
narrative
of events
a
so
solidlyfactual in character, in
which
there is little occasion
the impressions
to dwell
on
of the person chosen for mirror
is something a bit quaint and

is used

of the action. Indeed, there

unconvincing about certain


Bowl"
phrasesreminiscent of "Cytherea" or "The Golden
character like James Abel. But, for
applied to a backwoods
all that, this limitation of the point of view in each episode
of organization:
does constitute a happy principle
better

chronology

than

mere

the

order

occasion

helpsto

or

event

it determines

whim

the author's

each

in which

out,

comes

the

place and

brings each episode to its dramatic climax. It


immediately into the spirit
projectthe reader more
that

of the time. It is an
the

NOVEL

TWENTIETH-CENTURY

THE

284

example

of the value

in

of this method

form.
short-story

dramatic
of
most
charming, and most
interesting,
all Hergesheimer'snovels is probably "Java Head," a story
in the eighteen-forties,
and seaport of Salem
of the town
justas the carryingtrade is leavingher for Boston, with the
of steamboats
for sailing-schooners.
substitution
In this
novel
Hergesheimer's handling of the point of view is
is divided
The
curious and delightful.
book
into ten chapters,
of these chaptersis confined
and each one
to the point
Most

of view

given
The

of

from

different

story is told
to

render

impressionsof
These

that

person, except
that of Gerrit, the most

forward,
straight

the character
are

persons

not

of them

important

but

of each

the action

twg

character.

the author

chapter in

are

has

terms

aged
man-

of the

chosen

for that part.


all of the first importance in the

giveshis specialqualityto the part of


he is the witness. They are of many
which
different sorts,
in age, character, and experience.
There
is Laurel, aged
eleven, proud of being too grown
but
up for pantalettes
in girlishinterests, candy, and
all absorbed
play; there
is saltyold Jeremy, the grandfather,
given to stories of the
old sailing-ships;
blue-eyed,quixoticCaptain Gerrit, impatient
story, but

each

of the

one

and
hypocrisies
Edward

Dunsack,

devious
crazed

ways

of the land;

by opium,

scrupulous
un-

enamored

luxurious
and
sophistications
ways of the Orient;
Nettie Vollar, an
child, rebellingagainst her
illegitimate
view of her as a sinful creature;
Taou
Yuen,
grandfather's
Gerrit's Manchu
wife, gorgeouslypainted,polite,
superior,
full of Chinese
and high philosophy.
superstition
It is a picturesque,and at moments
an
exciting,story
that Hergesheimer tells through these so various recorders,

of the

HEAD"

"JAVA
and

it is

technical

feat of

no

285
thus

order

mean

keep

to

consciousness
in the story without
any undue
What
the varying media.
they do is to lend each one

us

of

interested

the

which
he precolor of his temperament
to the chapterover
sides,
is like some
beautiful fan of manythat the whole
so
colored

leaves.
after all, the

But
than

dramatic.

work,

large stress

The

careful

that

is made

is

There

and

here,

charming

of the

in all of

Hergesheimer's
picture.
period,setting,

as

costume,

upon

seasonal

nautical

rather

effect is decorative

dominant

element

notations, the
and

much

colorful

of the

painstakingreproductionof historical details


drillingof militia for the Fourth of July,the visit
of President
of the merchant
marine;
Polk, and the politics
the exterior trappingsof life of the period carriages,
dles,
canwine-glasses all this reminds us of Amy Lowell and

cargoes,
like the

the

"

"

Griffith. And

H.

D.

the characters

in the last

and

"Linda

inspirationthat
altar
Lee

Love

"

for the domestic

of

It is rather

Condon/*

Hergesheimer

of his Platonic
Randon

conception
burns

the

life of wife

with

love
and

tive
decora-

stories

incense

shadowy

terestin
in-

most

are

analysis,
regarded simply as

in colors.
arrangement
Still less dramatic
is the

"Cytherea"

themselves

lyrical

before
that

like

the

unfits

children,

or

enables

for
Dodge Pleydon to find in Linda the inspiration
his career
Of the same
as a sculptor.
qualityis that passion
for patriotic
service that inflames Charles Abbott
in Cuba,
under
the symbol of a brightshawl.
The
which
Hergesheimer ascribes to
very inevitability
Three
the passionof love in "Cytherea" and "The
Black
it an
for drama
unfit motivation
Pennys" makes
strictly
With
all
realism
of
external
the
circumstance,
speaking.
these characters
the social
the moral
want
actualityof
bound
characters in James, who
and solve the
to meet
are
problem of conduct. There is here no psychologicalmystery,
"

no

situation

with

elements

"

unsolved,

no

game

of in-

TWENTIETH-CENTURY

THE

286

tricate

of

be

to

moves

played
is

Hergesheimer

words

render

to

ideal

one

with

life

Irwin's

is

long

devoted
from
of

single point
of

course

dramatically
In

to

William

(1932),
which

leading

history

traces

its

Thus,

through
Three

general

technique
intention

1881,

that

medium

survives
as

could

in

of

of

the

life

of

July

the

of

sixteen

work

as

be

and
is

of

Minnesota

"Java
the

imagined.

thirty

the
from

point

different

reduced

than

more

has

of

the

moments.

among

like

Thus

Splendor"

family

special

San

heroine,

particular

of

lace
Wal-

1899.

9,

survey

them

books

well

In

eye.

Vanished

something

Pennys,"

can
Ameri-

throughout,

his

of

of

each

period

from

writers

story

to

of

each

with

distributed

are

the

continuing

(1930),

wealthy
a

sober

the

of

certain

all

meet

aspects

panoramic

over

so

Black

9,

"House

conducted
the

in

number

chapters

characters,

day

this

limited

decline

sixteen

chapters

in

in

of

Life"

is maintained

McNally's

three

"The

the

the

years,

view

is

especially

nineties,

June

years

to

one

with

novel.

realist's

Her
and

eighties

Beecher,

Emma

of

quite

Hergesheimer

the

finding

that,

not

historical

of

of

reason

does

certain

Days

the

this

fiction,

something

in

chapters

of

prepossession

problem

well-made

the

revive

"The

Francisco

is for

It

American
to

leading

Pateresque

influence

current

undertaking

the

of

technical
in

The

out.

Hergesheimer

requirements

The

the

qualities.

marks,

other

the

NOVEL

seven

to

one

of

view.

Head"

James
from

and

tion
tradihis

in

XXV

THE

NOVEL:

WELL-MADE

authors

two

HE

James
and

who

its

ideal

in

out

feminine
Her

handling

and

even

The

James.

third

it

James,

involving
and

French

the

life; and
of

James,

which

highly
But

novel,
Miss

refined
what
where

Alix

family

she

each

part

subject

is

the

resolve

makes

this

Anderson

as

in

so

and

handling

that

the

the

the

the
ters.
win-

author
to

person

the

the

two

James,

type

plot.

by

of

between
of

ways

in

as

Hergesheimer
of

little

two

contrast

personal
a

parts:

the

perfectly typical

when

perfect

of

Bradley,

with

of

in

themselves,
of honor

sense

up,

of

that

spends

and

impressions

motivated,

are

Sedgwick's

is built

contrast

than

Giles

to

its

ulous,
metic-

as

Vervier,

delicately developed

through

characters

The

Her

quite

nearly equal

English temperaments

this

is

scrupulousness

throughout

whom

four
to

in

procedures

patterned

or

fourth

whose

and

of view

into

and

absolute

assigned.

is

point

has

Sedgwick

laughable,

themes

assigned

with

herself

identifies

the

second

with

is

It

the

Wharton.

Miss

almost

in

Douglas

Edith

and

"

novel

Anne

(1924)

regular

are

Englishman

young

Girl"

is divided

girl, the

French

of

more

book

and

first

Selincourt)

of

reproduction

James.

the

de

of

form

well-made

women

startling, and

story

the

American

French

Little

"The

turned

Basil

method

the

attenuated

more

represent

the

are

(Mrs.

and

cases

follow

nearly

most

smarter

certain

state,

Sedgwick
In

in

though

"

who

WHARTON

SEDGWICK,

later

ing
arrangnovels

characters.
their

analyzed,

ments,
sentiinto

relations.
of

the

well-made

fall short
Like

of

James,

it, is
she

"THE

visit
is his
the

mother's

her

to

seaside

de Valenbois.
in which

lays all

cards

her

is her

Giles that Andre


shall marry
else
one
"

comes

his

on

of
to

return

and

speculateon
the charming

climax

in which

lover, and
A

comes

to

get

lives,

she

perfectlyclear to
that he (Giles)
proposes

table, makes

course.

to

of this part
Vervier, anxious

The

reply is that

Alix. His

Toppie,

Vervier

of the milieu

the

on

and

ways

Madame

daughter safelyout

it

cottage in Brittany.There

of Madame

relation

exact

GIRL"

FRENCH

take in the French

to

turn

Andr"
young
with the scene
her

LITTLE

he

it

is in love with

second

some

higher climax
attempts to give

and

England, when

he

of Madame
Vervier.
In his wish
to
Toppie an account
shield Toppie from his own
knowledge, he only succeeds
in making himself appear
ignoble,and in his effort to justify
for Toppie by letting
matters
himself, he makes
worse
her

know

assumed,

but

widow,

of Lambert

the author

I will leave

wish
with

to

to

which

Strether's

husband

she

as

had

always
is

living.One

gradual enlightenment

complicatesthis

the reader
is the

note

has

is not,

minded
re-

cerning
con-

de Vionnet.

Madame

(Hpw

Vervier

that Madame

to

knot

discover

skill, the

and

then

unties it,

for himself.
the

neatness,

What

precision,

"h" conduct^ the characters

through the game


and countermove,
of move
always along the line of their
respectivespiritualpredicaments,and always within the
of the

framework
have

the

chosen

consciousness.

and depth
solidity

This

work

does

and

of
brooding intensity
dwell so long on the moments
not
James. Theliuthor'does
the mere
of thought, on
subjectiveprocess. The styleis
ment,
lighter;the narrative goes forward with a lightermovecarryinga lesser weight of baggage.But for all these
it is perhaps a better exemplification
of what
is
reasons
implied in my term "the well-made novel/')
not

It should

be noted

unique
with

in the
which

that "The
work

Little French

of Miss

it carries

out

Sedgwick

Girl"
for the

this formula.

is perhaps
pleteness
com-

It repre-

sents

which

are
so

ones,

of these tendencies,

in her work

of culmination

sort

NOVEL

TWENTIETH-CENTURA

THE

sgo

stronger in all her later novels than in the earlier


far as I have examined
so
them, though in none

"Philippa" (1930) everythingis presented


of
view
of
of
the
four
the
from
one
point
distinctly
principalcharacters, and generallyeach one is given a long
other.
before a change is made
block to himself
to some
strong

as

in this. In

lets the

author

The

Countess"

(1927)

characters

there

are

but

do
two

it all. In
persons,

"The
the

married

who
render
and Jill,
through their
couple,Graham
de la
impressionsthe character of Madame
derie and her prot"g",as well as the tragedyin which

Once

twice

or

and

nating
alterMou-

they

involved.

themselves

are

Old

learn

the impressionsof the character,


go behind
looked
what
he himself
like to others on
we

he is recording.Such

the occasion

however, are
exceptions,
extremely rare; and it is true enough for the most part that
in these later novels Miss Sedgwick observes
with scrupulous
with
if not
the regularityof "The
Little
exactness,
French
Girl," the principleof the restricted point of view.
In

her

earlier work

Winslow

Kane"

not

come

to

are

so

the

changes are

us

many

of this method

this is much

(1910),while
from

less

true.

In

"Franklin

there

is very little that does


of the characters, there
the impressions

of these whose
so

impressionsare followed, and


frequent,that much of the effectiveness

is lost.

(1911),in addition to the injudicious


of the point of view, there are
distribution
many
passages
in
which
the
of
author
are
an
purely expositorymanner
finds it more
who
convenient
While
to speak to us directly.
of the story is from
the point of view of either
the bulk
this honor
is sometimes
Gregory or Karen, the principals,
Miss Scrotton; and
as
given to a person so insignificant
there are
scenes
presented in a straightobjective
many
that we
who
have been watching Madame
so
von
manner,
Marwitz
from
before the footlights
(through the eyes of
Again, in

"Tante"

THE

it is like the method

method;

and

Hudson"

is

Countess"

"The
Little

"The

of

method

of

James

Girl"

French

"The

Wings of the Dove."


The
upshot of this comparison
all along greatlyunder
wick was

in "Roderick

whereas

Tragic Muse";

like that of

more

291

of what
she is
be duly informed
may
the scenes.
This
is the usual
old-

Gregory and Karen)


actually like behind
fashioned

NOVEL

WELL-MADE

and

Golden

the

"The

Old

Bowl"

and

"The

she followed
of his

him

are

the

Miss

influence

of

interval. The

in her

SedgJames,

tion
culmina-

justtwenty

years after
in him. It comes,
let us observe, at the very
in the novel
all the progressive
tendencies

when

showing

marked

reaction

againstmost

of

what

he

for.

stands

The

thing is

same

Innocence"

It
altogether.

account

in the

in the

Eliot

and
style,

Wharton,

whose

first

later

of

be left out
may
historical novel

George

of Edith

true

James technique is in "The


Age
Valley of Decision"
(1920)."The
(1902)

of the

strikinguse
of

considerable

techniquecomes

its culmination
moment

at

is that, while

tradition

is

of "Romola,"

close-knit, competent,

in the minute

and

conscientious

ponderous
suggesting

rather

formal

played.
disscholarship

(1905) has a subjectmore


gestive
sugof James
the shifts and compromises of a young
woman
brought up to the luxury of societylife but without
sufficient income.
a
Lily Bart, by her intelligenceand
well as by her situation, reminds
of Charlotte
charm
as
us
Stant, Kate Croy, and Fleda Vetch. It is inevitable that her
be told largelyfrom
her point of view. But
story should
has not
conceived this as an artistic princiMrs. Wharton
ple
House

"The

of Mirth"
"

to

which

convenient

point of

sacrifices
to

view

present

must

many

be made,

and

she finds it

passages of the story from

of Selden, and

even

of

such

more

the

insignificant

characters
and

Mrs.

Wharton

heroine

of her

her

lightlyfrom
companion.

Lily dropped

Stepney, Gerty Parish,


sometimes
leaves the point of

Peniston, Mrs.

Mrs.

as

Trenor.

view

NOVEL

TWENTIETH-CENTURY

THE

292

tell

to

thoughts

down

on

us

and

the rock,

how

she

looked,

those

feelingsto

glowing with

or

her

passes
of her

long climb.

quiet,her lipsparted by the stress of the ascent, her eyes


the glowing ranges of die landscape.
over
wandering peacefully
She

sat

stretched

Selden

against the
head, which
make

to

her

himself

on

his hat
the grass at her feet, tilting
his
and claspinghis hands
behind

level sun-rays,
rested againstthe side of the rock. He

talk; her

silence
quick-breathing

had

seemed

no
a

wish

part of

mind
there
general hush and harmony of things.In his own
of pleasure,veilingthe sharp edges of sensation
was
only a sense
veiled the scene
their feet. But
the September haze
at
as
calm
his, Aras throbbing
as
as
Lily, though her attitude was
inwardly with a rush of thoughts.
the

An

Mrs.

occasional

Wharton

impressionsof
this date

the

such
this shows
as
passage
has a distinct tendency to make

that, while
much

of the

her

important characters, she had not at


intention
of rendering her story exclusively

naturally the traditional


through these, but followed
of objectivenarrative.
method
This is even
Fruit of
more
strikingin novels like "The
Custom
of the Country"
the Tree"
(1907) and "The
a
(1913),in which the interest is distributed over
larger
of principalcharacters, who
number
succeed
another
one
of the picture,and
alternatelyas the center
give way
often to quite secondary characters
where
the exposition
of the Country,"
requiresit. Very frequently,in "The Custom
the author
begins her chapter (XIV, XV, XXXVII,
in a purely objectivemanner,
XXXVIII)
settingthe stage
and marshaling the characters for half a dozen pages before
of the persons emerges
and begins to interpretthe
any one
action in terms
of his own
impressions.
And
there is a particular
reason
why, in this book, Mrs.

Wharton

maintain

stricted
James technique of recentral person, Undine
Spragg,

point of

view.

young

woman

beauty as a means
marriages,and

Blondes"

from

the back

who

country,

uses

liant
brilmore
making successively
raisingherself in the social scale, is
of

so

of

(1925).But

Mrs.

like Anita

Loos, in the

which

career

her

293

the

The

forerunner

noble

WHARTON

cannot

common

her

EDITH

in

Lorelei

does

Wharton

tell her story,


the irony with

not

And

diary manner.

is chronicled

does

Prefer

"Gentlemen

admit

not

of

our

ing
los-

in her

point of view. Her vulgar smartness


is a very different thing from
of
the sensitive intelligence
Fleda Vetch
be expected to render
or
Lily Bart, and cannot
than the gross and superficial
more
aspects of the world
ourselves

she

views.

modern

the

So

with

that

dispositionto

author

But

reader

any

directly from,

we

coming

say,

to

the

as

toward

means

Fair"

be

novels

of Edith

emphasized in

the limited

point of

In

"Madame

of "The

is, without
of

point

even

"

view

rather

of

the

Undine's

This
is

of any
than their

discussion

tendency
perhaps what

of these earlier

departure from

view.

de

novels

or

novelettes

she

absolutelylimited point
niscent
Treymes" (1907),stronglyremi-

American,"

stories of

later novel

action.

of

very short
experimenting with the

been

of other

the

shoddy

Country"
struck
by the

be

themselves

in several

Meantime,
of view.

Wharton

the

of her

of her

of the

will

in

rendering

intensifyingthe

should

had

of

Custom

"The

"Vanity

conscious

behavior

and

enormously greater use made


impressionsof the characters
"

forever

are

the motives

upon

the

speak for herself,


whole-heartedlyidentifyherself

very
Spragg, and

critical gaze
heroine.

of intentions, with

best

let the character

cannot

Undine

with

the

of "Madame

de Mauves,"

and

and

short, the point of view


the counterexception,that of John Durham,
part

James, long

and
ChristopherNewman
Longmore,
in the mazes
similarlycaught and bewildered

Americans
of French

Frome"
society.In "Ethan
(1911),inside the
the point
provided by the imaginary narrator,
Edith
Thus
exclusivelythat of Ethan Frome.

aristocratic
framework
of view

NOVEL

TWENTIETH-CENTURA

THE

294

is

exactlythe evolution of James in this


of the restricted point
to the first application
even
matter,
of view in stories long enough to be published each in a
singlevolume, though not long enough to be classified
securelyas novels.
In "Summer"
to
technique is extended
(1917)the same
of almost
a novel
Age of
length;and after "The
average
the exthis technique is the rule rather than
Innocence"
ception.
followed

Wharton

"A

In

Son

(1928) the story


of the

view

the

at

is

"Hudson

In

dren"
Chil-

"The

given altogetherfrom

character.

central

(1923) and

Front"

point of

the
River

eted"
Brack-

from the standpointsof


(1929)it is given alternately
of these novels
of Edith
the two
principals.But none
terest
is on a level of inWharton
after "The
Age of Innocence"
with

"The

Taken

Country."
But

together they
books,

it is "The

book

the best

example
implications.

out

as

is

historical

in 1920, it is laid in the New


of innocence," and that much
way,

the cultural

interests,and, above

of the

of the four hundred

of the

of

Innocence"

of the well-made

York

novel

that, published

sense

of the

is made,

physicalaspect

1870*5,the

in

of old

deft and

New

York,

all, the social and

of the time. Much

quaint exclusiveness of
acknowledged to be paramount.

the
As

few

is made,
families

for the moral

moral

again,

who
tone,

are

luded
al-

in the title,the great thing is the disposition


of
societyof the seventies to ignore the existence of anyto

good

Age

in the

novel

of the

Custom

symptomatic of the
the restricted point of

of all her

unobtrusive

tone,

are

toward

in its various

"age

"The

or

in her

that stands

This

of Mirth"

trend

overwhelming
view.

House

AGE

"THE

INNOCENCE"

OF

295

delicate meanings, if they


to convey
thing "unpleasant,"
the use of words,
be conveyed,by implicationwithout
must
to the
never
franklyto face realities that do not conform
prevailingideal, and inexorably to purge societyof any
code.
has offended
againstthe conventional
person who
is representedby May WellIt is this social ideal which
end
and.
is in the
There
something impressive in the
quiet,selfish cruelty with which she holds her fianc" and
husband
his obligations,
to
even
using her prospective
motherhood
(ofwhich she is not even certain)to "hold up"
him
and the woman
he loves. It is not to her own
happiness
of idol, a jealousgod of respectability,
much
so
as to a kind
that she compels their sacrifice. And
since they do sacrifice
to this god, they therebyacknowledge his authority,and
a
kind of Tightness in his ideal. On
this point, indeed, the
irony,the satire breaks down, since the author has an air
of subscribing,
herself, to the moral code in question.
The
Countess
Ellen Olenska,
story is very simple.The
American
abroad
who
has married
woman
an
unhappily
and

away

from

York

and

run

to

New

In

spiteof

she

is backed

and

arouses

wishes

certain

by

dreadful

the

to

husband,
be

taken

has

back

now

returned

into

the

fold.

ambiguity in her historyand status,


her connections,
rightpeople among

the interest of Newland

yer
lawyoung
is
Welland.
He

Archer,

her cousin
engaged to marry
May
deputed by the family to persuade her not to sullytheir
name
by suing for divorce. In this mission he succeeds, and
meantime

falls in love with

her. But

when

he

declares

his

love it is

her over
so
pletely
comalreadytoo late, for he has won
conceive
of
to his idea of decency that she cannot
findingher happinessat May's expense. And so Newland
marries
of Ellen for a long
May and sees nothing more

time.
But

now

it becomes

unspeakablehusband
the New

York

a
"

questionof her going back to


solution
a
greatlyto the taste

relatives. Newland

opposes

her
of

this; their love

THE

OF

POINT

VIEW

297

ticular

objector issue. Three persons are presented one


the person seeing,
and the others the two
persons seen, and
the limitation
as
helps Ellen Olenska and May Welland
much
it does the man
as
observingthem.
In particular,
and think
know
the limitation of what
we
of Ellen
knows
Newland
what
thinks and
to
gives her
And
artistic distinctness,and intensity.
at the same
reality,
time it providesthe story, as the author
controls what new
information
she shall release from point to point,and keeps
and concern
white heat as Newour
at the same
curiosity
"

land's.
This

is

strikingof
"exposition"is carried

the

most

story. The

great

and

of

status

the

at

Newland

the

heard

is

first book,

to

as

the actual

when,

moment

the

in which

step by step with

forward

questionhere

Ellen, from

opera,

all in the

remark

the

character

in their box

of old

Sillerton

by
Jackson on the public recognitiongiven the countess
have
the Mingotts, "I didn't think
the Mingotts would
tried it on." In the followingchapter Newland
is made
to
wonder
of referringto
at the Countess's
disrespectful
way
New
conventional
York; later,at her invitinghim to call an act so unThe
what
did that mean?
gossipof dinner
of
tables makes
him
speculateon the exact circumstances
her leavingher husband
and what
degree of reprobation
attached
This ambiguity is intensified by
to her behavior.
"

"

her relations
the
to

to

the dreadful

Struthers, whose

Mrs.

meeting-placeof amusing and


Julius Beaufort, the banker
Newland

When

talented
of

her, in the

urges

bohemians,

notorious

common

home

is
and

reputation.

interest,not

to

background certain
has made
againsther.
charges which her husband
vague
He
statement
cannot
to the
as
a
specific
get her to make
of these charges;he wonders
if she has it in mind
nature
to
her lover who
helped her away, and in just what
marry
her husband,

divorce

sense

All

he

was

these

her

there

in the

lurk

lover.

questionscome

to

head

in the

final

chapter

of Book

James

NOVEL

TWENTIETH-CENTURA

THE

298

the

manner,

two

like

are

persons

dark

scene

forward

moves

fearingthat
urging May
has

he has

become

Ellen

of

woman

has offered

to

wants

to

woman,

their love

he

now

he reveals that she

When

repliesthat he is the one


impossibleby persuadingher
It

next

appears

...

that she has feared

that it is

has

who

she

Olenski.

tells

the "other"

about

know

other

some

free. When

him

set

does she love Newland?

is the other

in

is interested

he

that

May's offer,she

"

made

surpriseto surprise.Newland,
strengthto hold out long, has been
the date of their marriage,and she

not

aware

and

woman,

the

and

turn;

from

hasten

to

some

revelation

new

new

true

playersin

each

with each new


play,with
game;
of fact or motive, the situation takes

in

Here,

of this drama.
I, the scene-d-faire

her

not

vorce
di-

to

not

anything that he has "on"


avoid bringing scandal upon

band
hus-

her;

or

him
merely wished to
and
that he
And
Newland
is determined
now
May.
will not marry
have Ellen.
Ah, but
May, that he must
it
that is impossible,and it is he himself
has made
who
Ellen has come
to realize that she cannot
impossible.
rightly
be
love Newland
unless she gives him
up; she cannot
happy unless she remains true to the ideals which he has
But even
feel, she might have
then, we
taught her.

she has

the

point
announcing that
the marriage as
this book

sister that he is

If Edith

thing

than

dramatic
and

the urgency
of Newland;
she is,we
suspect, on
of yielding,
when
a
telegram arrives from May

yielded to

and

she has consented


Newland

end
to

with

had

Wharton

shows

in

her

another, it is in her

continuityof
determines

issue that
that

advance

wished.

Newland's

be married

to

And

the date
this

chapter
to

announcement

of

his

month.

expertness

more

in

one

dialogue.But it is the
logue
givesits point to the dia-

it shall have

structural, func-

DIALOGUE

tional value

well

as

EDITH

IN

as

WHARTON

299

interest for itself alone.

In

"The

Age

she does not indulge herself with


certainly,
which
is devised for setis merely entertaining,
ting
certain pet opinionsof the author or for displaying

of Innocence/'
talk which
forth

the humors

and

eccentricities

aspects of New

York

of the characters.

Some

societytone are amusingly hit off in


dialogue,but she manages to subordinate

certain passages of
this interest strictly
to that of her theme

and

make

it

serve

of the point of
major issue. Her dialogue has some
dramaticallyknit together.
Thackeray's,but it is more
tion
It is in generalpointed and crispfrom pruning and selecthe

and

concentration

from

on

an

issue. She

is very

deft

items of information, carefully


springing of new
prepared, the timing of curtains, the isolation of significant
fat
of
bits. There
are
no
speeches
explanation,
long
often in Hugh Walpole, for example; it is all broken
as so
into half-utterances, challenges,questions,meanings
up
of dialogue.The
developedthrough the give-and-take
ters
chapin
short, and the chapter-divisions
to
set
are
serve
relief the culminatinglines,like Sillerton Jackprovocative
son's
remark
of the firstchapter,"I didn't think
at the end
in

the

Mingotts would have tried it on."


awaited
Very fine is the breathlessly

the

Mr.

old

Luydens
hundred;
Ellen
"

by

der

Van
are

the

upon
every

Luyden

that

influential, but
the

Chapter

acknowledged arbiters
their reaction depends

one

againsther. And

in

now

not

counts.

It

Newland

and

VII.
of
the

The

taste

Van

der

in the four

receptiongiven

that the Leffertses

seems

omnipotent

of

pronouncement

"

have

his mother

pronounced
have

come

tion
higher court. The preliminary conversawith Mrs.
Van
der Luyden is not
the
detailed, nor
Archers'
corded
presentationof Ellen's case. A word or two is reof solemn
der Luyden's daily
Mr. Van
remark
on
of reading the "Times"
in the afternoon.
custom
Emphasis
is laid by the Archers on the fact that he ought to know
of
what is going on in Ellen's case. Everything is centered
on
to

appeal to

the Archers'

suggestionthat

of Lawrence

Lefferts.

"The

social

position?It shows

hope it
Luyden firmly.
"We'll

so

we

not

dodge

on

the part

quitecome

thing not

Wharton,

and

Everything said by
know

to

concern

her

what

to

case

pronouncing

Societyhas

what

that Ellen's

all the

of Edith

said about

has

know

It is above

little said.

Lefferts's

said of Lawrence

have

Egmont

our

this is all

der Luyden.
Leffertses!""said Mrs. van
would
Mrs. Archer.
"What
echoed
Leffertses!"11

"The

And

NOVEL

TWENTIETH-CENTURY

THE

Soo

is

Uncle
on

body's
any-

to."

come

that," said Mr.

van

der

won.

said that
the full

implicationsof

the

tellingbecause

of

is

Ellen

logue
in the dia-

counts

lies beneath

it,and

everything
is excitingbecause
of

by May
especially
our
our
uncertaintyhow much
feelingof a latent hostility,
and
is known
thought. The effect of wit is produced by
tions.
clipped and weighted remarks left full of hidden implicawhich
in
Newland
is
There
is a passage
discussing
and his sister Janey:
Ellen with his mother
"I

hope

you
Archer

"

"

like her, Mother."

self
lipstogether."She certainlylaysherold lady."
when
she is callingon
out
to please,
even
an
[She is referringto herself.]
"Mother
doesn't think
her simple,"Janey interjected,
her
Mrs.

eyes screwed
"It's

drew

upon

justmy

said Mrs.

so

her

brother's

old-fashioned

face.

feeling;dear

May

is my

ideal,"

Archer.

"Ah," said her


And

her

the

son,

"they'renot

thingis left,without

alike."

comment,

to

make

its own

effect.
The

of
often reminds
one
dialogue of Edith Wharton
ter
James's in its way of linkingspeech to speech,one characcatching up the phrase or point of the other's remark
by way of challenge,
question,matching of the idea and
carryingit farther:

DIALOGUE
"I

want," she

with

IN

went

myself.For a long time


that I might tell you how

come:

made

301

honest with you"and


perfectly
would
I've hoped this chance
you've helped me, what you've

"to be

on,

WHARTON

EDITH

me""

of

Archer

staringbeneath
laugh. "And what

frowning brows.

sat

her with

do you

make

He

interrupted

that

out

you've made

of me?"
She

little. "O/

paled a
for I'm

"Yes:
of mine.

I'm

told him

who

man

paleness turned
not
promised" you were
"Ah"

like

how

lowered

Wharton

and

way
much

in French

"The
the

issues

bad

thinks

May?"

the

at

next

of the

once

The

three

dialogue of
tier
wit-

are

so

much

swift and

more

kling.
spar-

feelingof threadinga
development of situation

all the fullness and


thinks

one

ous;
obvi-

more

the

in her

Wharton

In

lor

through

much

so

with

out

of

name
as

rather

relentless-

of

something

that of "The
us

reminders
of James
superficial
We
cannot
forgetthat Archer

the

heroine

for Newland,

is the hero

reminds

business"

one

labyrinth.The

other
many
of Innocence.'*

Lady." And

Prince

have

are

family

some

see

comedy.

Age

Newman

ever

slighter,
brighter,smarter,

forward

is carried

of Ibsen.

There

will

it is turned.

The

James.

arduous

James

bad

then

in the

the story moves


One
does not

ness

of you

None

voice. Is it

is so

that of

than

in

to

interchangecontinues

great difference

long

another

trick is James's.But

Edith

because

woman

were

fugitiveflush. "I thought"you


things today."
say such

to

woman!

her

the

so

pages.
The

one

ever

you

through 1"

business

And

married

than

more

to."

Her

She

much

making

of your

the

you?"

of

of "The

in

"The

Portrait

remember

that

American"

and

we

Ambassadors."

The

of SUberstadt-Schneckenstein,

Countess

who,

is

of

Christopher
Chad

Eugenia Young, morganatic

in

Olenska

wife

in

New-

"The

of

the
Eu-

back

ropeans,"comes
Madame

Merle

end, she

turns

like

not

capable of

Eugenia Young,
formula

of many
''Then

Archer,

the

in

anything

also

us

Lady/' And if,in


fineness which
spiritual

Portrait of

in "The

family

Boston

reminds

similar; she

so

out

of her

the bosom

to

circumstances

under

NOVEL

TWENTIETH-CENTURY

THE

302

the

is

Merle

of Madame

character

of

or

fineness is again in the


spiritual
she says to
James heroine. When
of the
you'llhelp me?" we are reminded
this very
another

Strether.
de Vionnet
to Lambert
appeal of Madame
Archer
When
nearly gets her to agree to "come to him"
between
Merton
it is a repetitionof the situation
once,
Densher
and
Kate
Croy in "The
Wings of the Dove."

similar

When
to

the end, Newland

at

the Countess

see

Archer

And
wick

in any

yet, in Edith
or

in Ethel

different from
of the
of this
of

of

one

and

Wharton,

have

in

of all in

find the difference.

we

"

if I

than
that

might

Douglas Sedg-

follower
Even

in the

James.

in Anne

as

perhaps most

"

here

me-

Dallas

son

bench

reflection

she is like him.

as

point of view
very problem

to

on

stories of

dozen

Sidgwick,we

him

of

James as
her handling
her handling
In "The
Age

and

other stories she is as strict as


many
in the observance
of the limited point of view, but

Innocence"

James

real

his

up

Olenska, and, seated

park below, reflects,"It's more


went
up," we have a situation
be found

sends

the effect is

the

not

the consciousness

of

Everything is rendered through


Newland
Archer, but nothing is made

same.

of his consciousness.
Newland

Archer

characters
writer
for
than

ever

one

of the

We

situation
do

ualized
palestand least individguished
to the public by a distin-

offered

of fiction. He

a
projecting

himself.

is

not

is

and
dwell

hardly

more

characters
with

him

than
much
in

a
more

the

device
real
narrow

prisonof his predicamentas we dwell with Fleda Vetch or


Maggie Verver; we do not puzzleout with him the strange
Densher
and
writing on the wall as we do with Merton
Lambert
Strether. The limited pointof view is here a com-

THE

device

positional

it

But

in

imaginatively

the

of

essence

For

this

writer
the

her

unique

adopted
view,
process
in

James
novel.

has
which

Miss
which

Mrs.

avoided

make

and

of

means

cision.
pre-

steeping
is

which

solution

rare

tention
at-

enrichment

for

Wharton

it

bad

Sedgwick,

it

is

illustrates

"theater."

the

ideal

that
version
of

she

has

point
the

on

So

attenuated

if

And

of

weight

limited

the

of

popular

more

less

drag.

over-emphasis

an

much

so

story

device
that

is

is

the

makes

best

not

the

sharpness

James

and

There

"dramatic"

the
she

to

is

focus

to

serves

personality.

master.

"subjective"

It

special

reason

very

than

effect.
the

in

as

303

gives

It

serve

the

it

value;
issues.

not

of

NOVEL

great

simple

does

deepening

us

as

of

the

upon

and

WELL-MADE

the

of

conscious
here
of

again,
Henry

well-made

FOUR:

PART

critique

Un
rechercher

jeunes

gens

et

des

tenter

GUY

that
.

is

to

say,

of

sequence
of

sequence
"GEORGE

MOORE:

art

as

events

possible

que
nouvelles.

voies

Preface
"Pierre

to

aux

MAUPASSANT:

DE

"

moins

le

autant

pousscr

contraire,

au

ressemble

qui

ce

faits,

d^ja

les

devrait,

intelligent

tout

romans

TRANSITION

understand

et

it,"

described

with

Jean"

mical
rhyth-

cal
rhythmi-

phrase.
"Confessions

of

Young

Man"

XXVI

time

is

less

remind

to

the

underlying

all

have

the

which

the

time

same

which

have

they

than

more

it

that

to

in
of

art

"

do

this

it

entertainment
Victorians.

without

idea, great

gains

developed

interference,
idea

their

was

the

something

situation,

and

with
At

associated.

gifted

most

procedure

in

of

dramatic

"

of this

the

at

losses

the
that

suffered,

and

of

novel.

made

were

but

losses

author.

is,

that

in

the

movement
was

by

the

the

effort

novel

there

"

make

to
was

spirit which

full

have

die

the

already
dramatic

tendency

furnished

was

swing

withdrawal

novel

notable

paring
pre-

along going

into

from

and

was

all

brought

was

made

were

Joyce's "Ulysses."

of

critical

this

itself, which

which

self-impelling

without

inevitably

suffered
With

sacrifices

great

against

publication

of

author's

time,

same

reaction

the

spoken
of

conclusion

sporadically,

with

in

the

tinct
dis-

novel-writing.

the
on

of

novel

of

or

period

the

chronicle,

make

to

vehicle

interruption

pursuance

But,
great

closely

so

trying

many

logically, without
And

been

embodied

its inevitable

was

miscellaneous

meant

single subject,

to

it

beginning

the

of

historical

the

essay,

of

possible

as

More

tracing.

writers

make

to

intention

general

been

main

different

as

philosophical

in

the

aiming

been

the

have

we

along,

NOVEL

of

ourselves

literary form,
from

WELL-MADE

movement

consciously,

considered

THE

OF

CRITIQUE

by

to

the

comments.

Enough
of

has
the

been

said

technique

in

these

of

Thackeray
307

pages

implying
and

ment
disparage-

Fielding;

it

is

high

time

critical power
have
with
the English novel.

everywhere with
common

the

in

our

minds

of

Among the faculties associated


is the burly male faculty
Englishspirit

and

sense,

equal solidity
day occupied themselves

that few

acknowledge

to

and

of

NOVEL

TWENTIETH-CENTURA

THE

308

else

whatever

we

may

boast

of the

of the

mon
days since Thackeray, comcritical
The
is not
what
stands out
sense
as
typical.
Douglas;
spiritis strong in Samuel Butler and in Norman
but few will pretend that we
have in these writers spirits
well balanced, as sane
as
as
Fielding,Scott, Austen, or
Thackeray.
do not show in high degree the geniality,
They certainly
the humor,
the wit, which
the leadingtraits of
were
once
as
a
English fiction. J. B. Priestleyis widely ^advertised
of
writer who
revives in our
day the subjectsand manner
Dickens
Dickens.
and watered
But it is surelya chastened
think
that we find in "Angel Pavement,"
would
and no one
of
of preferringthis pale sobrietyto the fine inebriation
and "Great
"Martin
Chuzzlewit"
Expectations."William
has been
Dean
Howells
greatlyneglected in these pages
because, with all his preoccupationwith truth (ina narrow
range),he had so little notion of form. But there were
qualitiesof charm displayedin, for example, "A Hazard

achievements
spiritual

of New

Fortunes"

which

fiction. Much
Meredith

in

with

has been

matter.

Meredith

taking Henry James


It is not,

as
as

no
a

would

one

wit

or

ment
James'simprovethink of comparing

thinker.

No

one

guide, philosopher,and

thinks

of

friend.

the fault of any formal


ideal in art
appeared
philosophy,and genialityhave so largelydis-

from
condition

of

times. To

have

must

But

of

of course,

that humor,

seem,

made

look

for in rary
contempoof
of the strategic
errors
to

handling psychologyand

in this

James

it is vain

we

must

rest

secure

literature.
twentieth-century

It is

general

bewildered, disillusioned
spiritin our
and geniality,
it would
humor, philosophy,
be ready to make
certain assumptions;we
generallyassumed
upon certain principles

the

as

And

true.

busy

we

"

are

in the past two


still too busy

But
made

rest

there is this
with

novel
The

have

to

been

eliminate

disappearanceof

the

fiction all

tendency

well-made

to

to

squeeze
novel
has
with

stronglyendowed

genialphilosophy.
The
subjectis full
dramatize

the

the
the
on

sorts

given to

consciousness

of the

to

selves
fine in themhas been

There

an

paradoxes.The

of

tended

have

and
leave
sponge
favored
the whole
not

ties.
qualiwhich

neatness

of elements

issue.
particular

humor,

too

of the well-

these excellent

rigorousselectiveness,the formal
the growing ideals of the novel,
from

been

questioningthe assumptions
in anything.

be said of the connection

to

but irrelevant
a

secure

309

have

generationswe

"

of earlier times

NOVEL

WELL-MADE

THE

OF

CRITIQUE

very
characters

it

dry. The

writers

not

overflow

of

tendency

to

has

on

the

of dramatizing
weak in the power
relatively
of differentiating
and projectingcharacter. Very
often the author
insists on
who
identifyinghimself with a
in his story is simply yieldingto the temptationof
person
making that person react as he himself would do under the
circumstances.
what
he gives us is no
And
more
same
so
than a sort of spiritual
autobiography.One feels this to be
of Mr.
Anderson
in "Many
true
Marriages" and "Dark
makes
these books important is that Mr.
Laughter." What
is so largelysincere in his account
Anderson
of his soul
under
the names
and Bruce
of John Webster
Dudley, and
his own
from
that, while presumably drawn
experience,
these characters
of so large a category
are
representative
of men.
I doubt
if as much
be said of Mr.
can
Hergein "Cyfeherea."
is
One
sheimer's projection
of himself (isit?)
whole

favored

writers

"

conscious

here of

certain

erotic sentimentalism,

kind

of
dressingup of the passionof love a rationalizing
is a widespread feature of
vagrant impulse which
"

"

"modern"

attitude

example, in
touch

Mr.

toward

the emotions.

Swinnerton.

of it in Anderson

and

And
Lawrence.

there

One

of
the
our

feels it, for

is doubtless

when

But

it

which

in the

sentimentalism
find

can

It is

novel, there is

the well-made

to

comes

varietyof
for

NOVEL

TWENTIETH-CENTURA

THE

jio

better

no

something

than

mentalism.
senti-

ethical
in

flourishes

that

of love,

treatment

term

other
an-

the

soil of

English fiction. It has its root in the assumption that love


ency
is definable purely as a sentiment, and the general tendtion.
funcwith the reproductive
to ignore its connection
I should

James, but

to

for

like

not

vast

to

I have

have
no

the

plied
ap-

that he is

doubt

of this

of sentimentalism

amount

sentimental

term

responsible
varietyin his

followers.

many

If the

James,

charge of

sentimentalism

it is because

of the

is

to

be

of
disposition

brought against
his characters

to

passionsinto terms of sentiment, and so make


them
be
"nice/* A legitimatepassion does *not
need
to
made
nice; it is justnaturallynice if nothing is said about
the passionalelement
in it. An
passion may
illegitimate
kind of rationalization.
be given a semblance
of niceness by some
Such is the passionof Charlotte
Stant and the Prince
of niceness by the fact
Amerigo; it is given a semblance
that Milly and her father are
such good pals that there is
nothing left for the others but to leave them alone and
''playtogether."
It is possiblethat temperamentallyJames knew
nothing
of the passionof love and so found
it easy to do without
it. Intellectually
he was
whatever
of it, and
well aware
translate all

Charlotte
he

and
not

was

in
with

concern

may

taken

by

in

tion,
say about their relamentalism
it. If there is a strain of sentihave

to

James, it is because of his almost exclusive


in
nice people, and with passionsmasked

of sentiment.

terms

The
the

the Prince

why his sentimentalism


predominantly intellectual stress
reason

sentiment, and
which

he

Venetian

the

rich and

never

in his

slopsover
treatment

is
of

powerful imagination with


conjuresup these people and their world. The
paintersgive a highly idealized pictureof life,

NICE

it is all bathed

but

in

James, it is because
while

stress

tends

their

and

is

no

is

impeccable

for that. Her

the ridiculous.

into

by

strain. She

sentimental

same

ideality.

for

realism

greater than

his,

the emotional.

to

Wharton

Edith

the

at

ers
is stronger in the followhave less powerful imaginations,

they

they try

it real

makes

the illusion of

If the strain of sentimentalism


of

311

lightthat

that it maintains

time

PEOPLE

means

much

too

taste

permits her
she has

Frome"

of the

of the world

woman

never

"Ethan

In

strikingexample

lapse

risen,

even

simple and tragicrealism which can stand


comparison with almost anything in fiction. But she does
nice sentiments.
have a predilectionfor nice people and
She does tend
to
interpretthe psychology of her more
of her own
impeccable
sympathetic characters in terms
for

into

once,

taste.

it

When

to

comes

emotion, this author


She

wishes

All

her

husband's

Ellen

speaks:

nothing

you

I feared

and

was

saw

did

silence

down

to

that

Ellen

banal.

letter,at

fear from

what

and

the

dilemma.

she wishes

height of

that letter:

to

avoid

she falls into

Newland

cussing
dis-

are

their

great

absolutelynothing!

bring notoriety,scandal,

move

his hidden

followed

irrevocable.

like his

nothing
not

to

insoluble

taste, and

of

scenes

the

on

family"on

God," he groaned again,bowing his face in his hands.

thingsfinaland
him

and

great

May."

"Good
The

the emotion,

and

the

be
an

be in bad

would

is the conventional

"I had

should

finds herself in

indicate

to

anything that

scene.

what

own

that would
from

lay

on

It seemed

to

wide

all the

lift that load

place,or raise his


eyeballswent on staringinto
his

the

Archer

to

gravestone; in
ever

with

them

from

weight of
be crushing
future

his heart.

head

from

utter

darkness.

he
He

his hands;

313

Such

nice

man.

have

been

does

He

Bradley in

matter

his love

demonstration

not

turn.

and

there

Madame

influence.

Giles

down

that?

might

know

while

And

startled, from

operativein her
bitterness and
have

defences,
would

darkness

withdrawn

it would

have

could

strange

him

broken

not

talk

tilingwas,

would

have

or,

them, and

been
madame
saw

have

have

with

his

been

as

madame
she

did

fallen back,

would

have

spread.Either

in

he

would

canker

discovered

as

under

strength?No;
but
against remorse;

have

to

her, his

presence of the thing hidden

from him,

have

before

ever,

her

dark.

from

her

hate

to

been

Owen's.

on

at

Owen,

*s radiance

the

life and

forgiven it would
he

it have

armed

up

Could

intent.
would

have

sittingthere

stared

he

Toppie. Toppie

dimmed,

would

lived, Owen's

wondered,

brows, frowning and

not

discussing
would

it true?

Vervier

been

Giles have

of that

"

He

been

as

and

to

seems

feelingtoward the two women.


strong enough, she says, not to grow
the need for keeping Toppie in the

have

strong

"

day, and one


oh, justa soupcxm
our

his

on

bent

whiff

that

Hutchinson,

would

had

head

either, for that

creator

her

have

Was

Toppie
English sentimentality.

affair with

effect,if he had

of

in

Vervier

what

because

his love for

of A. S. M.

during the first great vogue


most
glib of sentimentalists
here

is

would

book

the

Toppie

his

nor

"

Girl.1' He

she is.
perfectlyhorrid creature
the author givesa feminine
to the
turn
once
mental
sentiher hero. Or, to put it more
a
exactly,
Little French
Girl"
"The
was
published

reflections of

catch

are

than

More

for

of his

realize

to

seem

what

"

they
simply

conception of

nice woman's

short in the middle, but

cut

they

Or

Little French

"The

all,but

at

man

Without

merely

themselves.

But

true.

is Giles

reallya

not

is

be

to

adversaries.

such

over

character

much

not

good

too

victorious

them

to see

eager
have

her

yet

eaten;

radiance

beatingtoo stronglyat his


all. Dismay, devastation
if Toppie could still have
sick and

Vervier

altered

about

heart.

Toppie.

Toppie's radiance,

that

he

But
The
felt

THE

314

TWENTIETH-CENTURY

himself safe from


madame

NOVEL

the torrent, and

that he

began

to

understand

Vervier.

Too

much

Toppie

the trouble

with

Sedgwick's
this was
doubtless partlyresponsible,
by way of
reaction,for the too much
of Lawrence's, Hemingtom-cat
way's,
Hecht's. Miss Sedgwick is an exquisiteartist within
her limits;but her limits were
what
Somevery narrowly drawn.
was

Miss

world; and

wider
effort

Mrs.

were

make

to

hampered by

them

Wharton's,
wider

and

than

the conventions

she

they

of her

world

neatlyordered

Lawrence

to

it would

observe

be

the

easier

for

of

world
like

one

some

the

was

was

occupying a

than

conventions

she

which

"

brave

But

were.

feminine version of James's.For


persons
so

made

well-made

novel.

There

is one

point of

great merit

view

by

Mrs.

subjective
passages,
upon

James

in the

handling of the restricted


and
Miss Sedgwick. The

Wharton

in which

the character

his situation, are

kept

the artistic intention

well within

calls for

and

muses

flects
re-

bounds.

extremely

In

extended

extended
than the pamore
passages of this sort, much
tience
of the average reader can
bear. But there is,I think,
no
is often a very
watering.The problem of the moment
subtle

one,

and

broodinglyso

as

the

author's

not

to

lose

imagination dwells
shade

one

of what

it

it

upon

to

means

the character. In many


writers under James'sinfluence, the
of this part of the narrative is carried to tediexploitation
ous

lengths.
In Hugh
Walpole, for example, there are pages
the judiciousreader
pages of this sort of thing which
know
so

how

much

skip.One

trouble

alike,all tarred with


and

which

to

is

soulfulness. In "The

probably

upon
will

is that the characters

the

same

Duchess

his best novel,

are

faint brush

of suffering

of Wrexe"

(1914),

largepart of the

nar-

HUGH

rative is given over


of Breton,
while

the

to

OLE

315

of Rachel,
thoughtsand feelings
Rand, and Dr. Christopher.And

Lizzie

Roddy,

these

W ALP

people have

different parts to play in the


his best to differentiate them

very
has done

story and the author


in character, they all think

alike, and, what

feel alike.

nice

The

them

to

grandmother,
the

in

vague

the

is

exercises

in

the

moral

knows

that

against her

her

Rachel's
sum

"

the

Beaminsters.

granddaughter

ideals, and

she

nasium
gym-

up in
in social life

mean

of

actions,
re-

languidly

so

tradition

all

more,

sentimental

malignant old woman,


Duchess, who is supposed to

favorite,the pagan
intention

their

all that is evil and

way

Duchess

in

spirit,
going through

old, selfish,autocratic

rebellion

"Her

so

yet convulsivelytheir
which
is life!

Opposed
some

all

are

troubled

so

and

They

is

marries

is in

her

tacit

to

her

Beaminster, Roddy, with the deliberate

of

crushing her spiritand bringing her to heel.


grandmother was determined
to destroythe honesty

and

truth in her and

and

now

had

chosen

Beaminster

for her agent


of Rachel's soul."

waited

happy for the death


Her
motivation
is anything but clear. Mr. Walpole always
his characters
make
wants
to
too
widely representative.
"The

the

time

Duchess
which

of Wrexe"
intended

were

social order, with

is one
to

of the many
chronicle
the

novels

of

changing

the

change in ideals. This


is a leadingmotif of the Forsyte Saga. It is the constant
intention
subjectof H. G. Wells. Something of the same
is seen
in Rose
Macaulay's "Potterism"
(1920)and "Told
by an Idiot" (1923).Only, while it is perfectlyclear, in
Miss Macaulay and Wells and Galsworthy,what
changes in
social custom
and
alignment,in economic
theory and political
ideals,are

presumably

being discussed, and

writers suggests that the soul of


our

eyes
shrouded

radical

some

by Walpole

in which

we

know

while

is undergoingbeneath

man

alteration, the
in

mist

of these

none

whole

matter

of transcendental

only that, in

some

is

ness,
vague-

mysteriousman-

ner,

the death

millennium

which

NOVEL

TWENTIETH-CENTURA

THE

3i6

of the Duchess
and

the

the approachof
signalizes
of

emergence

Ethical

Soul.

the

terms

meta(honestyand truth),physical
application
from Carlyle(shams,Real and Unreal),are
terms
the
all messed
from social theory(progress,
up with terms
new
Individualism, the end of a Period);and throughout
it is impliedthat the opposed terms
of an ethical dualism
the
somehow
are
to be assignedrespectively
to the old and
new
generation.The relief of Mafeking, with the riotous
syte
London
crowd, soberlyenough interpreted
by Soames Forin "In Chancery," is made
by Walpole's people the
occasion
for an orgy of confused
speculations.
named
There
is a speculative
Brim
citizen of the world

who

have

has

part in the story but

no

on

to

clear

no

for the sole purpose


simple events. He
Gabriel

has

curious

most

theory, he has
political-social
elusive moral theoryhaving to do

each

one

of
if

which,
conquer.

carries hidden

us

soul

our

This

is

is

to

Tiger in Walpole
from James's Beast

first

pearance
ap-

blance
genericresem-

In addition

picturesqueand
with a Tiger which
a

in his heart, and

somewhere

live, we

the

not

occasional

Tragic Muse."

his

to

an

tations
putting strained interpre-

of

of "The

Nash

makes

must
or

sometime

face and

of the
last appearance
beast lineallydescended

mythical
in the Jungle and Blake's "tigerburning
brightin the forests of the night."
This
aginatio
Tiger belongs to a region of Mr. Walpole'simwhich
makes
him
rather skilful in creatingan
atmosphere of mystery and terror. He has done this quite
for example, in "Fortitude"
successfully,
(1913),in "The
Dark
"The
Forest (1916),and
Secret City" (1919)."The
Dark

Forest"

is

by Englishand

"

story of the World

Russian

Red

Cross

War

workers

as

on

experienced
the

eastern

front.
Mr.

Walpole

in "Heart

has used

of Darkness"

somewhat

the method

of Conrad

(1902)for graduallyworking

up

HUGH

WALPOLE

317

enced
mysterious terrors, and he has obviously been influby Dostoevski in the psychology of his characters.
the moral
But
degradation of the ivory-hunterKurtz in
of shadowy
of Darkness," while so long a matter
"Heart
real and
itemized
guesses and intimations, is sufficiently
his

the shudders
the reader
is
to which
justify
the psychologyof Dostoevski, while
he
subjected.And
idly
keeps it obscure through long stretches of his story, is solreligiousphilosophy.
enough based in a coherent
to us, there is nothing in
Strangeas the Russians may seem
factitious and fantastic as these two
them
so
pairsof men
the end

in

Forest," rivals in each

Dark

in "The
dead

to

and

woman

racing each

the

impression that

who

one

other

for the love of

case

to

Death

first arrives

under

in the

the

realm

of

If the idea is not


will possess the desired woman.
confused.
simpleas this,that will be because it is more

the shades
so

of

Something

has been

(1922),which
the

fantastic

same

Walpole's famous

in Mr.

cathedral

with

the

so

often

quality attaches
novel

compared

on

to

to

the

that

subject

Ibanez's

novel

title.

same

pretentioushaziness of ideas that stands in the


and gives that
of any serious study of human
nature,
of unrealityto the situations in which
Mr. Walpole's

It is this

way
air

Walpole was a close friend


of James, who
evidentlyregarded him as one of his most
he perhaps considered
that in
And
promising disciples.
of Wrexe"
Duchess
he was
tion.
"The
developinga James situaread of Rachel's
We
"desperateefforts to analyze a
characters

situation
But

find themselves.

that

was,

the situations

enough

for the

Mr.

in definite outline,
in

no

situation

James, while they are


want
people involved, never

often

at

all."

baffling

definite

line.
out-

of
Walpole lacks, to be a proper disciple
James, is the imaginative precisionwhich is maintained
through all the windings and subtleties of thought,as well
as
James's freedom from the sentimental stress. If there
What

Mr.

was

softness latent in

certain

NOVEL

TWENTIETH-CENTURY

THE

318

James,

it

of his followers, and


in some
vengeance
in pre-war English literature.
note

with

out

came
was

dominant

subjectivismis often a weakening element


fiction. And
in twentieth-century
not
merely fiction in
of
English.It is a notable feature of the later volumes
Couperus's"Books of the Small Souls/' There is here none
of the spiritual
sophistication
practisedby Mr. Walpole,
but I have an impressionof some
of the softness, and the
of reflections by persons
not
sharply enough
monotony
uncritical

An

characterized.

Galsworthy, again,there

In

in the passages, more


and
in which
the characters
the

part, on
decline

on

"

of

influence
is thus

developments

in the final volumes

taken

the

Forsyte who

Soames

privatehistorywith
But

are

the money
market, the
analysis,
risingtide of socialism,or psycho-

the

of mind,

effect of the automatic

an

frequentin his later novels,


shown
musing, for the most

more

of the world

state

vitamins, and

mainly

is

the

made
in the

of the saga, Mr.


views
of Michael

press.

to

the

connect

world

is

It

large.
Galsworthy has
at

well.
Mont
as
recording the
is here no questionof undue
But
There
sentimental
stress.
the method
of subjectivedrama
has come
like a
to
seem
to

mechanical

trick

"

substitute

wanting in the characters.


this subjectivemethod,
and

for whatever

It has

somehow

if it is

ever

to

it is that
to
gone
flower

is called for. It is this process


process of renewal
is undertaken
by Messrs. Joyce and Co.

some

The

century
the
it

more

must

for

some

well-made
of

tree

novel

was

that had

the
its

floweringin

roots

of
forward-lookingspirits
have

seemed

of them

to

suffer from

have been

seed,

again,
which

the twentieth

in the nineteenth.
the twentieth
too

much

concerned
greatly

is

"

To

century
not

form,

with form

"

OF

CRITIQUE
but

the theme,

theme,
and

it

did

the

on

The

ceased

primary

note

the soul

this is

of Flcda

soul

and

she

her

of Newland

Archer

wife, typicalof

his

typicalof
souls
the

is

threads

classical

is constituted

the

of

for

his mother

is constituted

of the

his

it is the rational, the


definition

of souls.

ment
predicasoul

The

positionbetween
Ellen

Olenska,

know

of these

we

chemical

along

dramatic

ations.
situ-

call the
may
the novel. In the
we

clarification,simplification,

that in the well-made

narrative

The

is in

play in the
spiritualpredicaments

of their

in intellectual

novel

in

terms,

of

terms

ideals.
(thatis,formalized, intellectualized)

definition

ideology,and
of

for

logicalfacultythat

is conducted
sentimental

bent

observe

The

Mona.

sharply defined

examples of what
formal conceptionof

spiritin the
spiritis a dominant

the

her love for Owen

York, and

New

that

"

the

by

and

by

"

acter,
of the char-

character.

us

finds herself between

definition.And

"Lord

the soul

novel

of the story.This

remarkable

are

classical

women

the action

slender

in the soul

propositionreversed

narrow

the soul

was

well-made

largerliving.
Everythingthat
of some
like particles
crystallized

These

is

centered

loyaltyto

duct.
con-

of the story.

the action

against the

by

of

important for understanding

most

the

as

Vetch

in which
Gercth

quaint

problems

as

in the soul. It

was

was

determined

was

rather

men

new

conceived

defined by

was

justas important

action

the

of its

exist for itself. Everything was

to

interest

the interest

that while

idealistic definition

to

of the reaction

the motives

exclusion

obviously on

directlyand

that determined

and

"

bear

not

characters

of the character
But

tightlittle plot,its

319

stiff.

and

story had

focused

its

seemed

have

must

NOVEL

WELL-MADE

its old-fashioned

and

prim

The

is

With

formalization.

everythingthat

of

THE

our

of the characters
a

in

terms

one.
highly simplified

time

who

have

written

of

And
"Women

Jim/' "Ulysses/'"Pilgrimage,""Mrs.

It

sentimental

the

men

and

in Love/'

Dalloway,"

XXVII

THE

FNE
of

the

of

the

well-made

the

"The

into

the

present

novelist

"Sister

of

in

if his

and

of

is,

part

of

genteel

of

good

against

least

prime

the

of

questions

against

against
They

dental.
is inci-

this

novel,

nature.

tional
conventinuous
con-

one

are

assumptions

taste.

society;

and

it offers

to

appear
three

air, in which

of
It

one

pitch

of

in

as

of

of

the

for

the

possible

standing.
to

bring

perfection.
321

These

"The

standpoint

Custom
reaches

fortune

This
certain

limits

the

unmistakably
in

established

to

vulgar

more

shown

are

the

confined

mainly

glimpses

generations'
it is

is

novel

from

humanity

where,

they

well-made

the

is what

survey

experience,

extreme

that

good

Country,"

at

human

sion
impres-

reaction

reaction

the

with

well-made

of the

American

give

constitute

novels

regarding

essentially

would

concerned

Wharton's,

"An

not

career

novel.

genteel

most

greatly

fundamentally

are

Edith

and

1900
does

pattern

protest

For

in

Dreiser

Mr.

author

an

conventional

ways

with

exponent

whose

Dreiser,

as

and

(1891),

main

Its

early

as

Streets"

(1896).

exactly contemporary

1925.

They

the

is Theodore

appearing

such;

as

the

is

being

Courage"

century

Carrie"

Tragedy"
form

of

of

been

movement

least

at

up
break-

has

This

century,
Girl

the

to

America,

in

realism.

nineteenth
a

leading

least

at

extreme

"Maggie,

Badge

DREISER

influences

novel,

the

Crane's

Red

in

of

toward

back

Stephen

REACTION:

strongest

movement

dates

as

REALIST

and

is

as

the

of

man
hu-

they
of

family

highly

sentiments

sentiments

of

are

rarefied
to

an

about

of

equallycompounded
the

Indeed,

NOVEL

TWENTIETH-CENTURY

THE

322

good

hardly to

are
qualities

two

conformity.
distinguished

ethical

and

taste

be

questionthe general
worth
in any society
sidering,
conprevalenceof these qualities
well as their absolute
as
validityas standards for
dence
societyin general,might in itself be construed as an eviof bad
and
taste
immorality on the part of the
questioner.
novel
This was
about the state of thingsin the American
Mr. Dreiser arrived to view life in the largerperspecwhen
tive
In order
of Balzac
and
the French
to
naturalists/
realize the extent
the genteel tradition prevailed,
to which
And

this level of social evolution.

on

has but

one

to

read

to

Morris's

"The

Octopus," a

brave

Frank

This
(19031))

Pit"

realism

story made, with

"The

in the

of contemporary
business methods, at least
involved
in the productionof wheat, its

as

treatment

much

as

was

distribution, and

Chicago

Board
and

in Dreiser's

the

trading in

of Trade.

it

floor of

the

on

this marked

And

at

attempt

distinct

the

novation
in-

the bold handling of business


progress toward
Genius"
"The
Titan," "The
Financier," "The

But so far as the treatment


(1912,1914, and 1915, respectively).
of society
Pit" gives
and privaterelations goes, "The
of a willingness
of quaint formality,
one
to accept
a sense

conventional

patterns in human

which

reminds

Tree"

(anothernovel

"The

of Edith

one

Financier"

motivation

Wharton's

and

"The

behavior

Fruit

dealingwith business)more

and

"The

of the
than

of

Titan."

"jnthe

genteelnovel the fact of wealth and social position


is something taken
for granted,something to start
with,
and carryingwith it the notion
of a certain degree of refinement,
ordered

an

personalconduct.
social comedies
on

into

He

was

world

born

And
and

this

social

all that remains

sentimental

of these

none

into it and

was

fixed standard
is

dramas

stage. But

narrow

in which

and

status

Mr.

to

suitable
Dreiser

thingswas

himself

plan

out

of
the

for duction
proborn
was

established.

part of it,as he

so

REALIST

THE

DREISER

REACTION:

323

candidlyand eloquentlylets us know in his autobiographical


such as "A Book
about
Myself' and "Dawn."
writings,
And

what

he

side of him, what

on

saw

every
intimate

he knew

with

knowledge of personalparticipation,
like the jungle than like the world
more
was
a world
and Hugh Walpole.
of Edith
Wharton
and women
made
It was
starting
up of men
poor, vulgar,
but
far
so
as
they were
ignorant,emotionally starved,
for themselves
determined
to win
wealth, luxury,
strong
of love.
culture, social estimation, and the gratifications
that was
snobs
all the way
at
not
not
They were
they
Dreiser
they were
simply vital
appealed to Theodore
the

and
practical

"

"

"

"

forces
the

pushing forward
about

All

sun.

kind, through the

to take their placein


irrepressibly
them
were
swarming millions of their
force
millingjam of whom
they must

methods
The
their way forward.
were
before
of competitivebusiness, never

the

age-old methods

perhaps displayedon

of Dreiser's time:
grand a scale as in the America
work, organization,speculation,cooperation with

so

who

of those

abandonment

aid you,

can

who

tireless
those

cannot

serve

The
mental
graftand intimidation.
ment
equippolitical
stinct,
was
imagination,feline cunning, the gambling in-

you,

indomitable

those who

For

hindmost!

courage

and
.

won,

the

devil

the rewards

were

take

the

unlimited

and
choice
of
a
grand houses, picture galleries,
demanded
by the insatiable craving to gratifythe

power,
women,

ego. The

race

the

Meantime
way,

the strong.

to

was

weak

for much

were

the

imagination and pursued


lessness. Most

were

in
striving,

prizes

same

with

doomed

"

their

conceived

own

with

fectual
inefless

less perseverance
and ruthenvious
to
mediocrity,and

destined to be caught in the toils


heedless ones
were
many
American
of the law (Clyde Griffiths in "An
Tragedy,"

Financier")or to ignominious defeat and


death (Hurstwood in "Sister Carrie").Generallyspeaking,
Stener

the

women

in

"The

were

condemned

to

checkmate

in the ruthless

NOVEL

TWENTIETH-CENTURA

THE

(JennieGerhardt, Angela in "The Genius,"


American
women
Tragedy," innumerable
with
her dispositionto
woman,
Titan'*).The

of hearts
game
Roberta
in "An
in

"The

the conventional
adherence
her more
absolute
to
loyalty,
ness
standards
governing the married state, her relative weakwould
economically and biologically,
mostly get the
of it in this clash of egoisms.
worst
In his attitude toward
this jungle life of human
beings,
Mr. Dreiser is not a satirist.He has neither the genialirony
and brittle mockery of
of a Thackeray nor
the often smart
a

Sinclair

Lewis.

He

is in

deadly

earnest.

He

does

not

take

acters.
superiorityor set himself apart from his charHe does not regard them
or
as sinners.
as philistines
These
the sort he takes
people are, one feels,very much
himself to be, with the same
problems, ambitions, cravings,
they are winners or losers
discouragements.And whether
in sympathy with them,
in the struggle,
he is pretty closely
in
even
though, in his wider vision, he may see them
He
understands
and futility.
their littleness,helplessness,
the selfish urgenciesthat move
people to unsocial behavior,
and equally well the misery and ruin that so often follow
a

tone

in the

of

wake

of such

behavior,

most

often

for others

but

ing,
frequentlyalso for themselves. His tone is that of a broodobserver.
compassionate,philosophical
it is in
So far as there is a note
of criticism in his picture,
standards
reference
which
he regardsas
to judgments and
as he seems
to imply
conventional, artificial,and often
The
him
to impatience
one
hypocritical.
thing that moves
is the genteel assumption of the prevalence in societyof
and the easy relegationto
standards
which
do not prevail,
the background of selfish types of behavior
which
to
seem
him
well-nighuniversal. His great motivatingpassionas a
writer is simply to tell the truth. Or to put it the other
way round, his passionis to give the lie to the prevailing
idealistic assumptions of fiction of his day in English)In
American
"An
to be to picTragedy" his intention seems
"

"

ture

in

man

young

no

of nature,

to

outlines
left
his

the

of

action

natural

how

show

how, without

actions, and

itself upon
There
motivation.
exhaust

and

being
course

of crimes.

heinous

most
not

the
is

eral
gen-

plenty
again

psychology.Here
tion
aim
is not
to conventionalize, to simplifyin the direcbut merely to record
either of prettiness
or
meanness,
natural
facts of the case, without
tenuation^
exaggerationor exin

we

without
of

"The

Genius/'

when

Eugene

Witla

in the
York, leaving his Angela behind
told of the letters he writes her, in which,

New

to

gone

West,

details of

for the minutest

over

Thus
has

the
does

realism
(preiser's

to

325

type, he is driven, all in the

criminal
commit

unusual,

way

he is in all his desires and


in the least

DREISER

REACTION:

REALIST

THE

are

intending to deceive, he does give a


the depth of his personalfeeling:

false

sion
impres-

and indite long


to his bare
room
night he would return
epistlesto Angela, describingwhat he had seen and tellingher
of his undying love for her" largelybecause
other
he had no
of ridding himself
of his superabundant vitalityand
means
moods.
beautiful
letters,full of color and feeling,
They were
but
and
to
Angela they gave a false impression of emotion
sinceritybecause they appeared to be provoked by absence
from
her. In part of course
they were, but far more
largelythey
At

were

this

The
serves

the result of loneliness

spectacleof

vast

plain

mere

to

clear

sicklywith

the

the desire for

and

life itself incited.

truthfulness

the

expressionwhich

air like

scent

of such
a

window

of withered

quiet observations
opened on a room

flowers.

(The genteel tradition Dreiser pushes aside altogether


and goes straight
back, for his models, to Balzac and perhaps
the

later French

naturalists.

His

effort is

to

vision

societynot from the standpointof a clique,but with the


broad
comprehensive view of a scientific observer, outside
of all cliquesand patterned societies. If I suggest a possible
from
the French
naturalists,it is because
inspiration

THE

326
his work

is

NOVEL

TWENTIETH-CENTURA

stronglycolored

science, which

assumptions of nineteenth-century
were

strong

so

it may

have

been

literature,that Dreiser
behavior

general, or
term

as

"

chemical

and

of

against which

to

social

and

men

ideals

as

subjecting them

believed

in science

societywith
write

as

There

is

it will be
better

their

to

of

means

an

eventual

long
state.

truth.

in

I believe

It is
state

Frenchmen

from

only
be

can

would

He

cure.

in his

not

effect

early notes

series:
I believe
justice.

all in

above
the

society,
of these

abused

arriving,while holding that

But

of

will

in the wholesome

libertyand

towards

urge

constraining

for

forgottenthat
diagnosingthe ills of

in the

better social
These

view

in mind

be

not

long run} As he wrote


projectingthe Rougon-Macquart

while

to

^11 had

most

must

moralist,but he believed

of his work

toward

as

The

aberrations

the

collective

the

to

the

behavior

ideal

salutary force

and

firmly in

very

all boldness

in

measure

for its very existence.


necessary
French
writers is Zola; but it

had

writers

well-being and

social

distinguish

bert
Balzac, of Flau-

philosophy of

French

to

of Dreiser

degraded and pervertedhumanity. They

certain

he

while

worth

scientism

crass

These

model

in

frequentlyrecurring

more

be

humanistic

Zola.

behavior

phenomenon.

the somewhat

decidedlymore

of

his

use

allowed, it would

between

mind

to

"

from

than

of animal

manifestation

one

even

If time

as

But

group.

man
dispositionto regard hu-

his

took

his

science, rather

from

direct

and

Zola

in

element

an

ministic
deter-

terminology and

the

by

we
a

knowledge

that

be led

may

constant

march

of virtue

that

to

produced.
born

into

ditional
tralong-established
order, extremely elastic, it is true, and subject
modification, but with little suggestionof the barbaric

chaos

of Mr.

Dreiser's

unformed

America.

And

it

was

possible
im-

forgetfor an instant that, along with


and egoism,along with the savage
animalism

for them
the forces of

were

to

REALIST

THE

REACTION:

there

strugglefor existence,
order

which

could

was

be

never

DREISER
a

327

social will and

social

contravened
radically

and

set

naught.

at

$Vhat

important, however, is not to point out the


and
relative crudeness
exaggerationof Dreiser's realistic
with
philosophy,but to emphasize what he has in common
novelists
his fearlessness,
the great French
his honesty,his
done
determination
with conventional
to have
posturings
and
evasions. It was
extremely important that we should
bold enough to set down
in the English
have
one
some
it the unvarnished
truth about
language just as he saw
business
social life in its major
American
life,American
the sex-psychologyof American
and
reaches, and
men
And
women.
day is
every serious writer of the present
dore
deeply under obligationto the brave pioneering of Theois

"

Dreiser.

It is

the brunt

borne

it is who

When

should

we

ask what

Mr.

it is first to

he,

and

the

from

Dreiser
be

any other writer, who


of this ungrateful task. And

odium

have

turn

than

more

the consideration

of

he

praise.)

has done

noted

has

course

of substance

for the novel

as

form,

art

an

and

that, if he has given adequate

least the
at
expressionto his thought, he has met
minimum
requirements of shaping art. And then it must
that he has made
be added
tion
no
specific
originalcontributhe most
to novelistic
technique,and is not among
nice points of craftsit comes
to
skilful of novelists when
manship.
His
are

and
No

books

documented
even

our

solidlybuilt
in

could

the

have

politicsmore

interest.
unflagging

around

more

gone

into

manages

idea.

of his admired

colossal
the

thoroughly
He

central

worthy

manner

suggestiveof

novelist
and

are

structures

Balzac
of Zola.

operationsof

and
to

They

ness
busi-

still maintained

make

us

appreciate

TECHNIQUE
we

know

all about

becomes

him; that what

ipso facto

he overloads

3*9

the

the

an

possessionof

text

explained

author

has

the

reader.

ingly
Accord-

details,important enough

with

be
interestingenough if only they might somehow
assimilated
to the imaginativefabric of the story.
Again, he does not know how to get from one moment
in his story to a later moment
without
givingan extensive
of what
was
going on in the interval. In "The
summary
Titan*' and
"The
Genius"
chapter after chapter is given
ing
there is nothup to such perfunctorysummaries, in which
and

to

sustain

us

but

the

that

memory

there

have

been

probably are interestingtimes


ahead. Of course
what inevitably
happens is that the reader
reader skips,the writer
skips.And where the intelligent
might justas well have spared his pains.
Mr.
ulty
defective in the facDreiser, in short, is singularly
for conceivinghis story in scenes.
ously
He has taken serihis philosophicobligationto tell the truth, but has
times
interesting

thought
see." He

point of

before

and

us
very little of his artistic obligation to "make
is entirelyinnocent
of any intention
concerning

view.

He

the whole, pretty well


considers from page to page

keeps himself,

of the story. But he seldom


whose
is. Whatever
story it now

out

on

needs

explainingmust

be

it comes
into his head, without
explained at the moment
effect
intimate
it will spoilan
not
or
regard to whether
for the imagination or the feeling.
That
is,his approach
is almost exclusively
intellectual. He has so much
to his art
matter

the

to

deliver

reader's

from

his mind

to

the reader's

mind.

For

keeping with
his indifference
has no
to the scenical, he
conception of
what
in the way of imaginativecoma chapter may
mean
position
of subject-matter.
His chaptersare
chronological
Zola's
rag-bagsrather than the imaginative units which
chapters,for example, are.
His handling of dialogueis typical
of his want
of concern
for the niceties of writing.Dialogue is one
way of enlivenimagination he

has

no

care.

In

he

and
ing exposition,
of serious writers. Of
confrontation

NOVEL

TWENTIETH-CENTURA

THE

330

there

course

strugglein

and

the average

it with

uses

of dramatic

moments

are

it would

which

frequency

be
is

practically
markable
nothing re-

spoken word. There


He is a plainrealist,and does
about his dialogue.
his people'stalk pointed or
not
witty.
attempt to make
it as commonplace or
Neither
does he attempt to signalize
vulgar.It is commonplace, but without intention. It is not
It is ordinary speech,but without
slangy,racy, colloquial.
of the rhythms of ordinaryspeech.
any specialnotation
There
is no
hint of the deliberate marking of the accents
it in Hemingway's dialogue. Dreiser
have
such
as
we
is not
thinking of the way talk sounds; he is thinking
of what is conveyed,
simply and solelyof the subject-matter,
But the best things,the subtlest and most
poignantthings
so-and-so; they are
not
are
conveyed by words that mean
conveyed by words that sound so-and-so.
Much
fault has been found
by critics with Mr. Dreiser's
add anything here on
that
to
style,and I do not mean
ungratefulsubject.
Only this: His styleis all of a piecewith
of concern
for imaginativewritingas such.
his generalwant
impossibleto

As

avoid

the

wholes, his books

are

of

interest because

extreme

of

which
the passionate
informs
intelligence
largespirit,
in detail,
them. His writingdoes not bear too close inspection

the

because
intention.

has

he

not

His

people are
believe
we
Intellectually
in them.

We

want

approached it

like historical

true

in them.
to

with

know

We
how

are

an

esthetic

personages.

interested
certainly

their stories

come

imaginativecreations, with some


exceptions(Hurstwood, JennieGerhardt),
exist,and theymove
they scarcely
that scarcely
exist,however
through scenes
conscientiously
out.

built

As

up. There

in his books

are

no

belles

pages, no

chanting
en-

passages that thrill us with minute


in Hardy, Gorki,
such as abound
precisionof Tightness,
moments,

no

Maupassant,Hudson,

Thomas

Mann.

REALIST

THE

all

For

of

one

well-made

the

antiquate

is

he

that,

REACTION:

DREISER

the

what

he

has

to

forces

strongest
and

novel
.

331

that

tending

to

because

of

say.

^Dreiser
shows

is

no

of

forward.

straight

in

them.

In

classical

He

literal,

tells

of

matter-of-fact,

his

with

books
and
the

figure.)

they

there

is

between

action,
new

no

men,

the

do

story,
in

much

and

lives
what

generation

ing
mov-

of

his

ple
peo-

happens

psychopathic
motive

chology
psymore

"

extravert,

The

the

to

simple

Hardy

things."

what

inventions.

interested

more

Like

Hardy.

He

dimension

fourth

scarcely

"substantial

up

thought
Compared

is

of

made

are

is

and

"

world

is

modernists.

experiments

realism.

plain

the

men,

add

to

than
he

Hardy

than

new

technical

He

such

as

the

attempt

dimensions

three

in

interest

no

makes

He

unlike

very

to

divorce
and

of

tween
be-

behavior.

Joyce,

he

is

XXVIII

MODERNISTS

THE

W,
HEN

who

Conrad,

James
Conrad
content

as

with

did

the

ready-made

of

fiction.
of

figure

the

of

the

and

of

her

Joyce,

broad

whom

contrast

to

these

together

call

as

school

the

of

to

who

in

in

came

ing
characteriz-

possible

those

gard
re-

these

anticipation,

with

writers

transitional

are

consider

in

But

nique
tech-

radical

so

those

it is

James,

writers

to

brief

in

on

was

expressionists.
whole,

she

tion
fic-

to

convenient

most

from

apart

solitary

wrestling

and,

These

convenient

most

and

together

be

though
is

the

stumbled

subject.

he

stiff machine

the

art,

as

And

painter, brought

it will

was

together

story

account

pictorial

elusive

It

into

He

day.
a

For

begun.

character.

up

psychology,

such

as

modernists

the

of

sex

methods.

writers

with

being

Richardson,

Dorothy
three

of
that

to

transitional;

take

subtleties

mysteries

suited

some

who,

putting

limber

to

must

we

Lawrence,

some

with

then

his

of

interpreting

else

one

any

And

of

ways

had

Dreiser

of

ways

fore
be-

eighteen-nineties,

the

before

ready-made

than

in

with

start

must

we

men,

experimentalist

great

with

new

and

through

was

more

the

writing

began

was

ill

of

speak

we

to

in

and

lump

followed

who

them.
The

new

men

Modern

something
single
is

not

which

dramatic

something

definition.

The

does

psychology
be

can

action
to

soul

be

affected

naturally

are

with

in

caught
is

not

that
33*

net

simple

new

neat

entity

as

of

terms

simplified
of

chology.
psysoul

the
in

rendered

highly
the

the

conceive

not

adequately

by

issue.

It

intellectual
offered

to

us

MODERNISTS

THE

in

of fiction. It is a

works

most

fluid,or

vast

even

vaporous,
the feeble village
lightsof

wide-spreadingfar beyond
conventional
our
reading of character, deep-sounding into
animal
and
nervous
our
organization,into childhood,
and down
far beyond thought,beyond
It runs
out
heredity.
mass,

memory

and

consciousness.

but

varying and

grouped

about

the

For

and

often

spontaneous

water-soaked

logs

and

no

that

in the

at

identities
many
with one
war
other,
an-

one

another's

identityat all, but


reactions

and

istence.
ex-

kind

taneous
instan-

so

become

never

we

depths

of undreamed-of

of

unaware

of sensations

welter

wood
drift-

all kinds

and

and

huge

and

identitybut

one

part it is

most

dreaming

not

centers

many
indifferent

or

of

soul is

The

monsters.

of debris

is mud,

starfish and

and

octopuses

are

the bottom

At

below.

geneous,
homo-

and

of tinctures
great diversity

sorts

the surface, and

floatingon

lurkingfar

all

are

uniform

not

full of

There

infusions.

and

It is

conscious

as
aspects the soul is not individualized
many
tality
jet of the vibelonging to this or that ego, but is a mere
social group. Our
to our
common
race
or
sex
or
sciousness,
con-

In

of them.

is

which

for

small

part of

or
coherentlyexcept
logically
certain periodsunder
the pressure

need.
ideas

the

For

freakish

so

certain

at

of

part it follows
that
though natural
most

"

"

soul, does

our

some
an
we

not

proceed
and

times

urgent

tical
pracassociation of
chart

cannot

irreleits progress, running off constantlyinto what


seem
vancies as judged by reference to any recognizeddominant
The

interest.

future,

and

near

rational

mind

Each

organism;

but

nervous

souls

have

that
for

instruments

conduct.

supremely indifferent to past


far. It is a highlyspecialized
facultyof

soul

is

has

devised

these

controllingmaterial

soul

is attached

through

to

an

conventions,

things and
individual

and
our

these

guiding
physical

finite
imagination,through the inconnections
between
organism and organism,
A
largecapacityfor interpenetration.
large
the

TWENTIETH-CENTURA

THE

334

NOVEL

be

part of the life of the soul may


actions

group

the

and

more

"soul"

term

writers

are

much

as

in

the

might try the word


heavilyweighted with discordant
new

and

awkward

more

phenomena
"psyche," which is

to cover

We

The

lightof

the

reactions.

and

In short, it becomes
to use

regarded in

not

queer

question.
quite so

connotations.
concerned

the old

as

ones

psyche as the focus of life experience.Only, with


and
their modern
conceptionof the psyche,they grow more
more
impatientof the quaint little patterns into which the
old psychological
novelists had tried to force this protean
of things
and their disposition
to ignore all sorts
creature,
with

the

And
personality.

that go to make
up human
have felt the need to break

the

writers

new

patterns.
up these conventional
technical devices, aiew
procedures,

They have wanted new


features of
for rendering the psyche. In general the new
their technique are
mantic
expressionsof what is called the roin art.
as opposed to the classic spirit
Instead of regularity
of form, they show
a
tendency to
what
freakish changefulnessand
first blush
at
a
appears
unpredictability.
Analysiswill show that, for the most part,
form

is

freakish
which

with

not
at

determined
are

issue
made

it

seems,

of
principles

form

freakish

so

all. Only, their

have

neither

them

as

perhaps not
are

not

those

for the novel.

They are not


by the plot, as with Fielding or Trollope;
matic
by that simple drathey determined, generally,
taken by plot in the wellwhich
is the form
been

novel.

traditional

that, in their reaction

So

from

the

particular
speak,
may

we
rigid form favored by their predecessors,
of their tendency to deformalization.
provisionally,
versity
of uniformity and
Instead
simplicity,
they tend to diand complexity.In this respect they show
a superficial

resemblance

to

their abundance
the

spiritand

the

new

men

and

the

earlier Victorian

colorful

technique and
are

so

different

novelists, with
And

varietyof

material.

dominant

of
preoccupations

from

those

yet

of the Victorians

THE

that

no

would

one

different

335

comparing

around

the

limited

issue, they
in many

directions.
of

continuityof action, they show


action seems
A continuous
to
discontinuity.
with its freakish,
ordinary experience,
and
its overleapingsof time
Instead

feel that the

They

schools.

two

tendency,a tendency to flyoff

eccentric

an

of

dream

of concentration

Instead
show

MODERNISTS

series of events,

one

of consciousness,

center

one

them

too

to

like
un-

accidental

terrupt
in-

circumstance.

of life is often best rendered

sense

abrupt passingfrom

tendency to

by

an

of characters,

one

group
another.

about
neatly
they don't particularlycare
finishingoff a given action, following it through to the
As the eye, from
line of spaced dots
fall of the curtain.
a
is not
and
there
dashes, has the facultyof supplying what
the imaginaand tracingan uninterruptedline, they know
tion
has the facultyof filling
up the gaps in an action presented
in fragments,of gettingthe impressionof an
entire
life from
a
mere
hinting indication of the high moments.
and
Again, they feel that the imagination is stimulated
rendered
active, is actuallyexhilarated, by broken
more
stimulated
bits of information, as the nerves
are
by the

Moreover,

discontinuityof
of

Want
a

sense

is

not

electric

an

continuity,yes

by
ot

is here

used

qualityof

like that of

Instead

in the

sense

in which

well-constructed

of

sort

progress. This
is constituted

but

by

kind
The

of

rhythm,
rhythm
by repetition,

lyricalagitation

word

"rhythm"

it is appliedto the similar

the
especially
pictures,

abstract

post-impressionistic.
effect,these men
go in for something

called

are

of dramatic

like

lyricism.
They show a tendency
sentimental.
logical,

more

of

of

not

of consciousness.

stream

paintingswhich

verse,

of themes,

recurrence

the

but

"

of wave-like

of movement,

metrical

current.

the

senses

"

on

mere

to

throw

overboard

They relymore
succession

of

lectual,
intel-

terms
on

impressions

sensations

"

for

XXIX

IMPRESSIONISM:

been

HAVE

of

taken

never

the

any

am

Long

Hueffer,

the

absolute

antithesis

ago,

living

The

words

how

us

of

who
to

their

and

ingenious
the

upon

Edward

Garnett,

and
fiction

difficult
for
for

his

Garnett

and

for
his
own

is obvious
was

several

my

reply

had
On

instances

technique

in

that, while
forever

trying

the

of

337

it

new

Mr.

to

the

on

also

was

page,

one

technique

subject

Conrad's

work

Conrad
out

about

formulated

same

the

According

the

most

procedures

written

that

never

the

the

time,

technical

that

mind
re-

hierarchy

was

his

never

declared

he

practice.

gives

rules, he

that

occupation
pre-

they

the

in

theorized

I had

he

"

with
It

brains,

and

of

novelist.

why

and

Conrad

of

variety
"never

me

imity
proxMadox

artistic

belongs

of the

Conrad

together.
al-

James

Ford

Mr.

Wells,

G.

writers.

problem

side
out-

am

Mr.

immense

experimenter

receiving

my

H.

Conrad

greatest

asking

on
...

of

the

journalist."

Mr.

deliberate

and

brought
bear

of

unmistakably

conscious

restless

those

are

have

"

writers

of

and

Conrad,

by calling myself

write

to

conversational

close

under

from

so

deliberate

and

in

or

writing.

conscious

escaped

lapse

about

pains

James, Joseph

Henry

to

profitable

incidental

great

of

and

amusing

an

very

hierarchy
I

Joyce

for

save

"

it

ber
num-

pampered

and

haphazard

of

discussion

the

in

been

I have

found

I have

and

stories

interested

keenly

questions,

prophet,

CONRAD

was

too

art
too

cult
diffi-

any

rules

however,

Mr.

extreme

cupation
preoc-

of others.
never

formulated

methods,

hitting

any

upon

this

that

or

procedure, it

new

than

chosen

from

art

with

be, by instinct rather

may

forever

method,

neat

have

seemed

vast

and

and

still more

elusive

him

to

that illusion of life,which,


writers

novelist

My

famous

most

own

is given in the

task which

written

word

to

all,to make

see.

you

If I succeed, you

ask. To

to

snatch

the

faith is to hold

up

through

its movement,

of its truth"

There

The

It is to show

passionwithin
is

to

to

have

the

the

concerned

intentions

Nigger

to

as

cissus":
of the Nar-

it is

and

more,

according to

your

all you

for which

everything.
deserts:

demand"

you

have

couragement,
en-

and,

ten
forgot-

the reof courage,


from
morseless
the
beginning
of
is
life, only
passingphase
moment

task

vibration, its colour, its form; and


its form, and its colour, reveal the substance
its

of each

core

this credo.

written

inspiringsecret:
convincingmoment.

serious

no

Wells, who

excitement, this

"

is,by the power of the


make
you feel" it is,before

no

truth

disclose its

probably

it be Mr.

net

approached in tenderness and


without
choice and without
unquestioningly,
cere
fragment before all eyes in the lightof a sin-

task.

fear, the rescued


mood.

in

of time,

rush
of

glimpse of

that

his

"The

consolation, fear, charm"

perhaps,also

too

achieve

find there

shall

of

prefaceto

you hear,
and
That"

make

Life

than

rather

most

are

account

trying to

am

its crystalline

too

be

to

creature

the

with

complex, much
caught in any such

much

thing itself,is what such


capture and display.
His

out
look-

its steadyrigorof method.

of logicand
simplicity
must

man

the

on

be content
his temperament
he could never
little formula
of the well-made
novel, with

Given

could

of

instinct

the

was

and saving his


way of cheating oblivion
and academicism.
the dry-rotof monotony

new

some

it

but

by deliberation;
profoundly concerned
for

NOVEL

TWENTIETH-CENTURY

THE

338

could
But

accent

novelist of the
not

there

these words.
of almost

the

have
is

none

There

stress

and

time,

less
un-

subscribed
but

is none

Conrad

heartedly
wholethat

that has this

emotion.
hysterical

There

"TO

is

for whom

none

YOU

MAKE

the

art

of

SEE"

339

writing was

difficult,

more

it.
that he hated
asserts
agonizing;Mr. Ford even
the sea." Of
than he hated
"Conrad
hated
writing more
all English writers of his time
bent double
so
none
was
under
the weight of what Mr. Wells calls "their immense
more

artistic

preoccupations."
This
Conrad
be partlybecause
was
writing in a
may
foreignlanguage,one he had learned to speaksince he came
he was
to man's
estate, in which
perpetuallyliable to little
slipsin idiom, and which he pronounced so badly so
hard to unthat it was
derstand
frequentlymisplacing the accent
"

"

him
Still
own

by

when
his

more

friends

like

hidden

aloud.

as
subject-matter,
interesting

have

must

account,

he read

Galsworthy

and

rivers in Borneo,

their

lost

difficulties not

created

kingdoms,

Bennett.

it

was

its

on

encountered

This

exotic

ter,
mat-

Malay princesseeking to
the

savage

of

secrets

sea

cover
re-

and

jungle;these incredible heroes


Lingard, Heyst, Razumov
maintaining the point of honor in the midst of treachery
and corruption;these heroines, the creation of man's power
Eve and steadfast as
of idealizing
women,
savage as Mother
it was
the pole:starLena, Rita, Jewel, Ai'ssa, Flora
no
task throwing the illusion of truth over
mean
subjectsso
"

"

"

"

strange and
It is not

that
of

fantastic.

of romance,
merely that he used the subject-matter
he occupied and immensely enlargedthe realm

to
Kipling.He was not content
of chivalry,
work
the traditional motives
bravado,
fealty,
Life was
and revenge.
notonous.
not
so
simple as that, nor so moHis grotesque imagination fills his pages with
and vermin:
monsters
Willems, Jones, Kurtz, Schomberg,
Pedro, Ricardo, Ortega,Scevola. He loves to trace the slimy
involutions
of morbid
And
when
it comes
to
psychology.
in a cloud
his heroes, he loves to envelop them
of Slavic
mysticism.

Cooper, Stevenson,

Conrad

resented

and

Mencken's

stress

upon

his Slavic strain;

he
and

for
especially

near

as

in Dostoevski

Lord

Jim, a

"Under

Western

Heyst?

from

drawn

Dostoevski

to

et

we

come

so

psychologyof
in Dostoevski

but

series of titles

is that

gentilhomme."

We

of the same
real person
himself
well have described
a

person may
But it is at least

the

"]e suis Ameri-

of Gold,"

Arrow

in "The

by Blunt
cain, cathohque

assumed

to

where

And

do

where

Russians,

plot,the psychology,the very technique


curious
of
Eyes"? One of the most

resemblances

minor

But

the Russians

and

Baron

get the

did Conrad
of

Dostoevski.

for the

dislike

expressinghis

tired of

never

NOVEL

TWENTIETH-CENTURA

THE

340

know

that

and

name,

in

Blunt

is

the real

justthese

terms.

coincidence
that Kirillov in "The
striking
should
have
Possessed"
signed himself, also in French,
seminariste
monde
et citoyen du
russe
"Gentilhomme,
a

civilise."
Of

hated

Conrad

course

grounds, and
political
He

man.

and

wanted

to

insisted that the

Europe

and

be

Russians

on
patriotic,
he was
a decidedlypolitical-minded
identified, himself, with "Europe,"
on

classification of Poland

true

with

not

the

Slavic

and

Asiatic

the
he may have disliked in Dostoevski
of his "mysticism."And
then, is
cast

with

was

Russia.

Again,
specifically
religious
it not
possiblethat

unconsciouslyby the very natural desire


he had been so greatly,
little of an artist by whom
to make
if so unknowingly, influenced? In any case, the point I wish

he

was

make

to

affected

is that

Conrad

was

much

concerned

with

twists

puzzlesof psychology growing out of the character's


Weltanschauung which, if not Russian, are at any rate
"central European," and
most
decidedlynot English.He
certainlyshared with Dostoevski a profound feelingof the
transcendental
character
of
mysteriousness,the almost
This
human
motives.
psychologicalcast is something as
exotic as his subject-matter,
and is another
reason
why he
found
arduous
the novelist's task of making his reader
so
and

"

"

see.

Now,

the

most

obvious

means

of

making

the reader

see

THE

is simply the

of

use

STYLE

ORIENTAL

fer),who
novels, and
Both

with

collaborated
that
and

Ford
and

at

Conrad

when

in the

in Conrad's

career.

passant
of Mau-

devotees

in the

they knew so well


begin recitingsome

stories

would

one

hardly

we

(then Huefwriting of three

enthusiastic

were

most

Ford

Madox

him

Flaubert, whose

originalthat

have, what

we

critical time

most

that Conrad

And

adequate words.

earnestlycultivated this means


need, the testimony of Mr. Ford

341

well-

take up the recitation and


passage the other would
theyworshiped in these French
carry it on to the end. What
writers was
the mot
justeand the cadence, the Goncourt
written

ideal

of

ecriture

artiste,with

perfect"rise

the

fall."

and

clined,
being inhis writingtrop charge.This
Ford thought,to make
in Conrad,
and he begged
was
one
thing Wells admired
collaborate
with him
for fear he should
Ford not
to
spoil
his magnificent "Oriental
style."
Oriental
Conrad's
styleis one of the features for which
in
he is most
admired.
and over
But over
again,especially

Their

notions

of

stylewere

his earlier novels, before


feel that he
the
too

he

Englishman.
many
tried
of

them
blame
de

would

words.

all. And
the

"

of these

for

that

French

into

the

the

or

dozen

spiritof
tendency to use
for the mot
juste
critical

Conrad

will

this, after all, is but

and

was

not

too

did

much
not

the

under

of his

quality.This

simply fine writing and panache. Conrad's

is

too

warm

upon

man's

to

be

spell

transplanting

not

turbulent

the

consider
sufficiently

always stand
English.

the defect

"Tentation

is

dikes of the mot

stead
then, in-

which

matter-of-fact

and

must

one

scene,

words, and

of "Salammbo"

rhythms

more

the

if in his search

as

rhythms, and

sonorous

the

justsuited his need, he kept


to
this, I imagine, Flaubert is somewhat
one

Flaubert

Antoine."

on

often

had

four

or

came

profitedby

Conrad

keeping the

Saint

But

three

out

Ford

have

It is

identical, Conrad

not

confined

emotion

within

juste.Over and over again,when he


destiny,his great heart, and the futile

the

dry

broods
stir he

NOVEL

TWENTIETH-CENTURA

THE

34*

impassiveface of Nature, he reaches


heightsof imaginativesplendorwhich would be impossible
makes

to

upon

more

the

vast

critical artist.

It is notable, however,
resorted
frequently

to

that Conrad's

eloquenceis

in his earliest stories,before

most

he had

structural and
"making us see" more
of his later
less dependent on
mere
style.In the course
writinghe found a considerable varietyof such devices for
bringingthe subjectinto focus. To begin with, there are
the various techniquesfor identifying
the author
(and so
the reader)with the principal
feel his
actor, making him
puttinghim at the
suspense, his curiosities,his irritations,
and morally/as
the character.
same
point of view, physically
This
method
in a good
to Conrad
came
very natural
of his stories which
than transcripts
are
hardly more
many
of his personal experience."The
Shadow-Line"
(1917),
for example,is a first-person
with only insignificant
account,
variations from
from
fact, of Conrad's
Bangkok to
voyage
Singapore in the bark Otago, his first command.
thingis true of tales like "Youth"
Something of the same
and "Heart
of Darkness"
in these
(1902),although Conrad
for his stories. Expericases
provideda specialframework
ences
which
his own
almost literally
exact
were
out
throughin "Youth," somewhat
worked
more
lighted
highup and
in "Heart
of Darkness"
he attributes to a Captain
Marlow.
has the captainnarrate
his adventures
He
The
author
describes the place
orallyto a group of men.
hit upon

devices

for

"

"

and

conditions

under

a sort
furnishing
are
provided in

which

goes far

to

effect. Moreover,

which

the stories

were

told, thus

of stage for his littledrama. And


with
advance
certain emotional
a

so

they
tone,

of
givethem artistic unityand precision
of mouth
their being told by word
to a

''HEART

DARKNESS"

OF

343

sarily
sympatheticbut matter-of-fact listeners, necesentalism,
affects the style,
somewhat
chasteningConrad's Orimaking it seem, so far as it lingersstill,a peculiari
and altogether
of Captain Marlow's
temperament,
the verisimilitude
a most
contributingto the plausibility,
importantconsideration in the art of making us "see."

of

group

"

of

"Heart

Darkness"
than

achievement

is

"Youth,"

much

creative
the

imagination.It was
head-waters of the Congo

of the

and
geographical

country. Many
Falls. But

what

based
and

one

Marlow

difficult artistic

more

of

more

effort of the

an

Conrad's

on

his

voyage

to

personalimpressions
of that exploited

social conditions

of the characters

suggestedby

was

much

taken

were

from

life. Kurtz

Klein, the company's agent


made

of Kurtz

and

at

his way

Stanley
of doing

it,that is the story.

personalembodiment, a dramatization, of all


felt of futility,
that Conrad
degradation,and horror in what
which
the Europeans in the Congo called "progress,"
meant
of the natives by every varietyof cruelty
the exploitation
Kurtz
and
to
to Marwas
greedy man.
treachery known
this country, a name,
low, penetrating
constantlyrecurring
in people'stalk, for cleverness and enterprise.
But
there
drew
were
slightintimations, growing stronger as Marlow
horrent
abto the heart of darkness, of traits and
near
so
practices
notions of decency,honor, and humanity,
to all our
trader graduallytakes on the proporthat the enterprising
tions
of a ghastlyand almost supernaturalmonster,
symbol
of the general spirit
of this European undertaking.
for Marlow
Kurtz

is

The
with

pan

blackness

and

mystery

of his character

the savage mystery of the Congo, and


they
passu with the atmosphere of shadowy horror.

tone

in

develop

ble
development is conducted cumulativelyby insensiitems,
degrees,by carefullycalculated releases of new

This

new

intimations; and

the consciousness

all this process is controlled

of Marlow.

Thus

we

have

through
triumph of

"THE

ARROW

nary
Gold"

diary as the basis for


(1919)is set forward,

end,

as

meant

If

in his

notes

of

Monsieur

woman,

at

beginning and

the

George himself,
friend

childhood

statements

and

of his.
and

his friends

to

of the

of this story are


is Conrad
himself.

events

George

of

Arrow

Sea,0

drawn
In

this

from
case

third-personnarrative are, in the first


of turningautobiography
a means
place,simply a disguise,
look like fiction passingitself
into fiction by making them
off for autobiography.
However
this may
be, the singlepoint of view is magnificently
the

and

"The

autobiographical"Mirror

characters
Monsieur

life and

in

Conrad's

believe

to

account

the main

one

345

his narrative.

MS.

upon
for die eye of

are

we

his

based

GOLD"

OF

MS.

used

for

and

vividness
four

the

than

more

one

verisimilitude.

in the interest of
purpose
Of
the five parts, the first

mainly occupied with what we may call the exposition.


In particular,
they graduallyreveal the character and
history of the heroine, Rita de Lastaola, now
living in
Marseilles, former mistress of the sculptorAllegre,reputed
mistress also of Don
Carlos, the Spanish pretender,and
are

patron

generous
himself
of the

Carlist

of the American

Rita, and

to

It is

the

growth
in

marvel

the

(Monsieur George

is

appetiteas

adventurer

tions
Blunt, his rela-

of

infatuation

George's

for

of

working up curiosity,
atmosphere through the judiciousrelease of

suspense, and
items of information, each

The

cause.

engaged in smuggling guns into Spain for the use


Carlist troops.)
Along with this is the unfolding of

the character

Rita.

of the

much

as

one

art

of which

whets

the reader's

it satisfies it.

fifth part, much

any of the others, brings


the sensational climax of the story, in which
Rita and Monsieur
George are shut up in a room
together without
and in danger of their lives from an insane jealous
weapons,
lover of Rita's, and are
thus driven, as it were,
into one
another's

longerthan

again the limited point of view is


superblyemployed for securingvividness of effect. It is an
arms.

Here

Conrad

which

art

NOVEL

TWENTIETH-CENTURY

THE

346

used

has

It consists in

with

great

a
particularmoment
sharp isolation, in which it stands out, in its physicaland
illumination
moral
features, in lightning-like
against a
fine
are
background of midnight obscurity.There
many
examples in "Lord Jim" and in "Victory."
Quite remarkable in this kind is the physicallimitation
of "Chance"
of view in the climax scene
cident
(1913).It is by acthat Powell, the ship'sofficer,finds himself looking
through the transparent glassof Captain Anthony's cabin
he
It is only a certain portion of the cabin which
window.

his books.

this includes

see, but

can

glassof whisky, and


quarters from

other

of the curtain
He

He

it. It looked
down

to

curtain

the

and

one

no

the

curtain

curtains

he

shuts

Powell.

nothing
itself and

this aroused

definite

in

observed

ready to put

was

it

trembling movements
Somebody else besides

joined. Yes!
watching Captain Anthony. He owns
his indignation.
It was
reallytoo

been

off his

peculiarstirring

apprehensionsqf

suspiciousof

was

which

parts of the cabin. A

arouses

two

himself had
that

thick

justas
very innocent. Then
trick of imagination he saw

the

where

table, his bottle, his


captain's

the

with
suspicious,

became

his mind.

giving to

of

in many

success

artlessly
much

of

good thing.In this state of intense antagonism he was startled


observe
to
tipsof fingersfumbling with the dark stuff. Then
they graspedthe edge of the further curtain and hung on there,
and
and
knuckles
able
nothing else. It made an abominjustfingers
sight.He
when

hand

was

arm

in

extended
weird

and

grey

into view,

came

into
projecting

looking at

the

it with
a

unaccountable

short, puffy,old

lamplight,followed

coat-sleeve,up

tremblinglytowards

to

the

the

fantastic and

by

repulsion
freckledhand

white

wrist, an

elbow, beyond the elbow,


tray. Its appearance

was

But instead of grabsilly.


bing
the bottle, as Powell
with
expected,this hand, tremulous
senile eagerness, swerved
its edge for a
rested on
to the glass,
back with a
moment
(or so it looked from above) and went
jerk.The grippingfingersof the other hand vanished at the
time, and young
Powell, staringat the motionless
same
curnauseous,

"CLOSE-UP"

THE

tains, could
been

for

indulge

the

moment

347
that

notion

he

had

dreaming.

fragment of the whole passage,


fected
efit will serve
to
suggest the nightmare vividness
by the sharpphysicallimitation of vision. The reader

I have

but

given but

will also

the careful

note

It is only

of

us

small

by

of tempo
degreesthat the weird hand

are

revealed.

the

"slow-up"

control

whole

The

and

the

in this

tion.
narra-

its movements

and

reminds

technical

process
"close-up"which

are

such

powerful devices of the moving-pictureproducer.


actual
The
physicalitems are delayed in each case by
of the imaginativeeffect,the psychological
tions
reaca 'noting
of the spectator
of supreme
matter
a
importance
in Conrad's
combine
He
knows
how
fully
artto
so
technique.
the psychological
of the
with the physicallimitation
him so sharply
point of view. It is this which distinguishes
from the ordinary romancer.
The
combination
is found
in high degree in the
same
"

climax
have

This

scenes

also the

of "The

Arrow

advantage

situation

of

of Gold."

being

very

And

these

scenes

greatly prolonged.

desperatenight in the house


of Rita's sister
is altogetherthe most
extensive of any in
the book, with a cumulative
excitement
in
rarelymatched
fiction. The
effect of physicallimitation is particularly
tensifi
inin the long scene
with the inin Rita's chamber,
sane
cousin raving in the adjoining room,
and
Rita and
absolute silence.
to maintain
George strainingevery nerve
Then
after the overturning of the candelabrum,
they are
in complete darkness, and
the terrible dialogue between
Rita and her mad
cousin
to George through the sole
comes
medium
of his hearing.
will ever
No one
know
justhow much of fact Conrad had
in the development of this scene.
I am
to go upon
inclined
one

"

this

one

"

to

think

the whole

that his
book.

imaginationfar

But, however

outran

that may

the facts

be, it was

through

the writer

NOVEL

TWENTIETH-CENTURA

THE

348

of

made

of his craft, who

of fiction,using all the devices

something so real for the reader. And it was,


be specific,
his trick of "isolating"
(with the help of
here
limited point of view) which
the author
enabled
the

scene

make

us

little used

and

with

"An

to

of

rather

"

too

is

means

It is

his earliest novels.

very
as

if it

"Almayer's Folly"(1895)
Islands"
(1896) are certainly
written, trop charge, if I am

learned.

not

Outcast

"written"

leadingcharacter

in

Conrad

by

trick he had

the

see.

Indentification

were

to

the
well

is perhaps the most


subject-matter
that of the
as
Conrad's
at
fascinating
disposal,the same
later part of "Lord
Jim," to which he Returns again in
"Rescue."
They have to do with one of those hidden rivers
to

trust

taste.

my

have

been

able

jungle-borderedstream,
of the
shady,infinitely
complicatedpolitics

and

with

of Borneo,

with

the

No
and

up

traders who

this

lover of Conrad

amazing

white

the few

find their way

to

Their

afford

can

to

miss these

native

lays.
Ma-

glamorous

narratives.

ner
regard them as over-successful in the manof the telling.
As for the techniqueof identification,this
would
be very difficult to apply in any great degree to such
material. Thus
in "Almayer's Folly,"the leadingcharacter
is Almayer, and
than any other, his point of
it is, more
view which
is given.But it is hard indeed for us to identify
and shoddy a
ourselves
all continuously with so weak
at
soul. And
then the exigenciesof the story seem
to require

But

that

cannot

should

we

thoughts of
who

others:

and

his

him

daughter Nina,

for the
the

doings

Dutch

and

officers

cians
great varietyof native politiMarools, Mahmat,
lovers, Babalatchi, Dain

to

come

constantly leave

visit him, and

Taminah.
The

third of Conrad's

Nigger

of the

Narcissus"

the very short one, "The


(1897) which was originallyin-

novels

was

tended

to

be

short

name

same

togetherwith
method

for

from

very

Bombay

to

other

sea

several

little use

of the

the

into

story

to

seems

riences
expea

ship

London,
voyages.

autobiographical

of effect,and
givingsingleness

himself

of

349

actual
upon
second
mate
on

servingas

voyage
suggestionsfrom

makes

Conrad

But

in

NARCISSUS"

THE

story. It is based

while

of Conrad
of the

OF

NIGGER

"THE

the introduction

have

been

an

thought.
after-

Impressiveas this story is,from its subject-matter


from
Conrad's
and
unique and eloquent interpretation
kind of
it appears
of that subject-matter,
as
a
technically
in
story-telling,

exercise

in

stumbled

methods
upon
the mere
power

to

The

be

to

the

which

of which

course

might

come

in

only

as

he

ment
supple-

of words.

ordinary sea story is a very simple affair. It is likely


one
individual,
presentedas the experienceof some

whether

told

in

the

first

or

the

matter-of-fact, with

third

It is very
peison.
occasion
for niceties of

virtuallyno
and
no
feelingfor the need
psychologicalinterpretation,
in the representation
of the ship,the sea,
of pictorial
art
the

or

seamen.

Conrad's

of the illness of

It is

an

and

its effect upon

account

story is the antithesis

the

negro

of all this.

sailor,James Wait,

imaginationsand

emotions

of his

brave in the presence of extrernest


shipmates.They are men
danger, but cowardly before the thought of Death incarnate
himself
in this imposing and tubercular
negro. Both Wait
and the rest of the crew
are
compelled to believe, or pretend
that
but
ming.
shamhe
is
to believe,
not
reallysick,
simply
And
then comes
about a paradox in their psychology.
the captain, too, out
of compassion for the dying
For
pretends to believe that he is not reallydying but
negro,
only malingering; in the presence of all the crew, he harshly
the sick man
condemns
to imprisonment in his cabin, and
with the captain for his harsh treatthen the crew,
ment
angry
of their pet, come
to mutiny.
very near
The
reader of this abstract will knit his brows

seemingly topsyturvy psychology.And

over

such

indeed, in the book,

it is not

simpleas

so

It is the last word

many

pages

Conrad

the book

are

is,of

from

men

NOVEL

TWENTIETH-CENTURA

THE

350

in

I have

made

it,and hardly so credible.

and a good
subtletyand sophistication,

given,firstand last,to
course,

die outside
is made

up of

as

much

as

from

its elucidation.

concerned

to

the inside. A

portray these

large part of

of brilliant word-

rapidsuccession

and
the officers and
James
pictures,
presentingthe men
Wait; singlyand in groups; in the forecastle and on deck,
as
forward, amidships,and on the poop. They are shown
in their own
to themselves
they seemed
thoughts,as they
seemed
to an
to one
another, or as they would
seem
nary
imagiobserver; the men
as
they appeared to the officers and
have individual
the officersas theyappearedto the men.
We
of what
and we
went
have generalized
on
accounts
scenes,
on
over
long periods of time. We have set Conversations
babels of sailors5
and we
have typical
particular
subjects,
voices shouting fragments of speech on
every conceivable
And
in addition to all this we
have frequentdescriptions
topic.
of the ship,in the manner
of Masefield:
counts
generalacthe sea
of ship'sbusiness, picturesof the ship on
of
it would
have appeared to a distant observer, pictures
as
the sea as it appeared from the ship,and many
particular
picturesof parts of the ship as seen from other parts on

board.
The
And

entire book

occupieswell

under

two

hundred

pages.

within

ject
this brief span Conrad
has presentedhis subin every manner
known
to narrative
art, from
every
conceivable angle of vision, from every conceivable point

of view,

and psychological.
His subjectis the Narcissus
physical
and everythingabout that boat during a six months'

he seems
voyage. And
of "puttingacross"

to

that

have

started

out

with

the intention

magic of the
subjectby the mere
written word. The
in evidence
Oriental styleis very much
tion.
meditaor
throughout,whether in description,
psychology,

NIGGER

"THE

OF

NARCISSUS"

THE

351

sea
reprievedby its disdainful mercy, the immortal
of desired unrest.
confers in its justicethe full privilege
of its grace they are not permitted
wisdom
Through the perfect

On

men

meditate

to

at

ease

acrid

complicatedand

of

savour

their life to the


justify
pause
from
toil to be hard and unceasing,

without

existence.

must

eternal

They
pitythat

commands

sunrise

to

sunset,

the

upon

from

sunset

to

sunrise; till the weary

sion
succes-

of
nights and days tainted by the obstinate clamor
at
an
sages, demanding bliss and
empty heaven, is redeemed
fear
last by the vast silence of pain and labour, by the dumb
and the dumb
and enduring.
of men
obscure, forgetful,
courage
of

Conrad's

But

instinct

story in the omniscient


and
is

for

no

Then
a

theory.He

of the traditional author,

manner

36, and

suddenly,on

page
the third

shift from

crew

of the

to

crew

between

sentences,

"them"

but

It would

that the writer is one


appear
sharing their experiencesand emotions.
is maintained
return

is a

there

person

the

constant

and

the writer.

of

the first person

Very often there

the first on

one

page

and

between

which

crew

and

first person
pages, and then
rest

of the book

the

objectivethird
impliesparticipation
by

is a shift from
back

the

"us."

The

steadilythrough ten
third. And
throughout the
alternation

and

"we"

pretty

to

there

the first person. It is a question


to James Wait, and suddenlythe

longer "they" and

no

are

to

his

it is all told in the third person. There


all that the person writing was
where
anyin the action.
that boat as witness or participator

of the attitude

we

began

long space
suggestionat
a

on

is

his

outran

againon

the third person


the next.

vividly
say that the most
may
the writer identifies
those in which

Generally speaking,we
realized passages
himself
use

But

with

the

are

with
(or possibly

the

officers)
by the
of the first person. It is clear that,however
rad
blindlyConhave started out in the objective
stinct
his inmanner,
may
led him inevitably
to the techniqueof identification.
there

is

no

crew

indication

until the very end

of the story

MULTIPLE

POINT

VIEW

OF

353

character, however
one
rigorouslyto that of some
of music, where
And
as for the magic suggestiveness
gifted.

view

shall

find

one

in such

Conrad
And

then,

nature

elusiveness.

fit

to

compete

with

of

human

evocations?
Conrad's

moreover,

which

one

was

fictitious character

No

made

conception

of its mystery, its protean


of vision would
suffice to catch
much

angle
it in its completeness.The
problem, for any situation or
graph.
any character, is to find the perfectfocus for one's photothere is no
But
must
one
perfectfocus, and one
constantlyexperiment,constantlyseek for a better and a
in the end, in order
And
better position.
to give even
an
must
approximately just conception of the subject,one
draw
together all these hasty sketches into one
composite
in
main
"An
the
Thus
of
the
Islands"
ject
subOutcast
picture.
one

is Willems.

But

the truth

about

Willems

is all bound

Lingard,and Almayer, and A'issa,


up with the truth about
Babalatchi.
And
of these is called upon
in
and
each one
lightof his view upon the others.
of the most
One
features of Conrad's
interesting
Malay
the character of the whites
stories is the lightthrown
upon
the folly,
the native comment
on
by the natives
greed,
of the white race.
and indomitable
cruelty,treachery,
power
But while there is a good deal of life in these stories,a great
loss of force is sustained
through the interference of one
frequent indepoint of view with another and the more
of the point of view.
terminateness
the advantage of the
Conrad's
to
secure
problem was
points of view without losingthat of coherence. It
many
to make
a real composite of these many
was
picturestaken
diverse angles,to make
of material
from so many
a synthesis
And
he solved that problem most
so
disparate.
successfully
through the help of Captain Marlow.
turn

to

shed

the

"

This
and

he had
person
also used in "Heart

of "Lord

created

in the short
before

of Darkness"

Jim" (1900)."Lord

Jim"

was

story "Youth,"
the

intended

completion
to

be like-

TWENTIETH-CENTURY

THE

354

short

wise

story, but

The

was

of

mate

in Eastern

home

training,and

and

of those

one

ports, then

in

later

chaptersare

his childhood

to

return

chief
his voyage
as
Ocean
up to the time of

sketch

in the Indian

the Patna

on

first three

omniscience.
third-person
Jim in the days when he

of

water-clerk

the collision. Then,


as

of

the

without

apparentlybegun

was

introducing Marlow.
told in the ordinary manner
They give a general account
idea

NOVEL

Chapter IV,

attending

is introduced

Marlow

the

trial of

and

Jim

his

desertingtheir ship.From that time


the story is representedas being
Chapter XXXVI,

fellow-officers for

on

to

lated
re-

Marlow

by

The

dinner.

to

in

of relaxation

moments

read

concluding chapters were

of documents

form

friends

under

his London

one

livingin

who

one

lettingus

whole

knew

know

of the

Lord

Jim

the^documents
one

events

of them
while

story therefore
and

about

the truth

writer. By
professional

Jim

Oriental

was

far the

was

to

him, but

who

the

styleand

in

not

was

largestportion comes

magical effect upon


in this word-of-mouth
style,

most

us

deeply interested

in the form
his pen but from
his mouth,
of
the after-dinner
told aloud
over
cigars.And this
the

are

letter,

comes

from

has

one

Patusan.

Virtually the
from

of the later

long narrative

later, in the

reading-lamp,by

auditors. But
of the party of Marlow's
mainly written in the hand of Marlow,
and

after

not
a

story

at

tone.

once

The

narrative, givesplace

the manner
of one
largelyto a natural, anecdotal manner,
speaking with authorityof thingsof which he knows, and
in such a strange story
for plausibility,
ing
strivstriving
yet
his audience
his point of
to convert
to sympathy with
the character
of his hero,
view, arguing with them
over
producing evidence for his knowledge of this or that episode.
All this givesto the narrative an amazing air of authenticity;
in
that extraordinaryfeat of
a class with
puts it
"

Defoe's
But

"

in "The
this is

Apparitionof Mrs. Veal."


only a beginning of what Marlow

does

for

MARLOW

"Lord

This

Jim."

355

is, seemingly, much

character

more

imagination than Almayer, Willems,


Rita. And
vividly
yet Lord Jim is more
of them, perhaps the most
vividlyrealized

Dona

Lingard, or

JIM"

of the

creation

sneer

"LORD

IN

realized than

any
characters.
of all Conrad's

and

subtle, paradoxical,obscure,

is

motivation

His

But that is one


reason
speculation.
why he is such
and
hand:
Mario w's
this
a
good subject for Conrad's
Englishman who had, in a crisis,forfeited his honor
young
and an officer,who
haunted
for years by
a
as
seaman
was
of his disgraceand driven from one
inferior octhe sense
cupation

of

matter

"

another, from

to
to

of

his honor

back

fleetingintuitions
him.

At

after Stein had

time

the

Jim

sent

cannot

of

name

knowledge.

charge
faced

I did

his

of the

the doubt

crisis,whether
the
low

test.

"I did

wishes

the

trial, and

most

Patna

their
not

him
of

him

home

it seemed

bound

was

to

him

to

to

even

me

in the

inseparable part of
about
more
myself."

much

so

motivated,

and

his

our

interest

in

Jim, justas Captain Brierlyis,the


the

they
so

French

lieutenant

Jim's desertion.
would
was

much

devoutly to

that

in

really

back

not
distinctly"

have

Jim

in

strong enough
more

believe

should

who

about
in

all

similar

to

stand

myself."Mar-

Jim,

maintain

took

have

They

acted

believe in himself, in human


he may
nature
of the ideal in this world.
the possibility
to

friended
be-

him

never

went

him; but
I

more

honor

know

Marlow

is the

after

of how

time, but

to

last view

in

the savages
his fate,"

understood

him,

seen

ever

is well

is interested

his desire

Patusan, he says:

to

know

not

by

good," "mastered
his self-respect.
Marlow

when

which

himself

Marlow

Jim. He
judge at

doubt

that

time

from

say I had
this day, after I had
my
that the less I understood
"I

and

another,

to

then, among

sympathized with

him,
"knew"

who

"made
trading-post,

won

so

port

one

his ill fame; and

escape

remote

and

"

in order

in

that

general, in

It is

most

his illusion

portant
imof

being somehow
of revelation
One

leads

not

damned,

in the midst

reason

because

NOVEL

TWENTIETH-CENTURY

THE

356

Marlow

why Jim

is

found

him

of

so

of illusion.
character

is

elusive, because

he

This
distinctly/*

him

of this

flash

momentary

some

world

vivid

so

tryingso hard to "see


to the sharp isolation

find

or

or

that

precisely
ever
for-

was

is what

scene.

frequentchange of the
angle of vision. The truth about Jim, as about any human
be apcan
to
think, is something which
being, he seems
proxima
different
only by regarding him from many
from
of this story comes
to Marlow
points of view. Much
the lipsof Jim, much
the French
from
other witnesses:
lieutenant, the trader Stein, Jim's native wife Jewel, the
pirateBrown, and others still.For much of the story Marlow is himself
there is brought to
an
eye-witness.Thus
bear upon Jim's case
the lightof every varietyof temperament
and
of attitude
toward
by every
Jim determined
varietyof interest and motive. This book is streaked and
ist
spottedwith colors as brilliant and variegatedas any futurpainting.The
thing has a splendor and vibrancy of
It is also what

life

not

leads Marlow

conceivable

on

his

to

the sober

canvas

of the

well-made

novel.
And

the steady concentration


yet it has the steady progression,

or
singlesubject,of a novel by Wharton
James.
It is Marlow
who is responsible
for this. He it is who directs
and controls this restless and ranging exploration,
always
are
we
having in mind just what dark corner
seeking to
illuminate.
receives on
It is he who
the lens of his speculative
mind
tion
direclight-rays
coming from every conceivable
and
focuses them
all so rigorously
the one
point
upon
which
he wishes to make
visible to our
imagination.
on

In "Chance"
in

Conrad

novel.
full-length

this method

this is what,

in

employs
And

second

time

spite of

its

MARLOW

IN

"CHANCE"

357

less enchanting subject-matter,


its
relatively
of

three
with
in

substance, makes

most

successful

Flora

de Barral,

prison

for

and
money,
Mrs. Fyne,

her
to

and

from

It has

the house

to

do

people's

of her
the

or

has been

who
other

Fyne's brother,

host,

sea-captain

the
part of the story even
the character and motives
of

about

understood

meanly

between

relation

by

her

Fynes; and this


Anthony furnish

the

and

of suspense
in the story.
first chapter)all come
to
us

things(afterthe

Marlow

relates them
Some

but
with

with

two

mystery, the element

These

author.

financier

ness
thin-

considerable

dark

are

the actual

the main

Mrs.

marry

novels.

operations

elopement

is in the

Flora, which

daughter of

of the

one

of all Conrad's

dishonest

Anthony. During
reader

of "Chance"

relative

of them
from

more

Flora, and

dale. And

that

Marlow

with
as

is, let

say, to the
tion,
personalobserva-

has from

conversations

here,

so

"me,"

to

with

as

Mr.

us

and

Mrs.

Powell, officer on
young
in "Lord
Jim," the facts

Fyne,

the Fernto

come

us

strained

like
which
through several personalities,
are
colored screens
modifying the originalpictureand adding
each
its own
increment
one
of interpretation.
A graphic
representationof the process will show how very complicated
it sometimes
is. For all that happened on
the Fern-

dale, the sequence

is

Powell
.

The

reader

him

narratives

This

Marlow

receives

given to
from

is not

follows:

as

from

the

me

...

the author

by Marlow,

who

reader
of

account

an

had

rative
nar-

the information

of Powell.

purely theoretical pictureof a process which


has no
real psychological
The
author
lets the
significance.
reader know
of Marlow's
of telling
his story, and
manner
of certain disputeswhich
arise between
him
and Marlow
in the course
of the narrative with regard to its
tion.
interpretaMarlow

Powell, whom
but

somewhat

in

turn

he

has his

regards

naive

one,

as

comments
an

whose

to

make

on

entirelyreliable
view

of

young
witness

thingshas

to

be

THE

358

TWENTIETH-CENTURA

supplemented by
with

the

better acone
quainted
imagination of some
Or again,for certain passages
nature.
Flora, Mrs. Fyne passes on to Marlow

human

in the earlier life of

information

NOVEL

which

she had

from

Flora; so that

have

we

the

following:
Flora
.

Mrs.

Marlow

Fyne

the

me

reader
Four
the
in

have

screens

been

originalsource

of information.

instances it is Fyne who

some

Mrs.

between
interposed

had

Fyne

Flora

from

Flora, so

Mrs.
.

Fyne

me
.

The

and

In fact, I believe

Fyne

that

Marlow

to

on

passes
that the

the reader

what
read:

graph should
Marlow

the reader

the

proof of

pudding is in the eating.The justification


for all this complication
of method
isHhe richness and
depth of effect,the amazing three-dimensional lifelikeness
of characters and episodeswhich
have received the benefit
of

so

media

From

treatments.

each

of the

one

throughwhich it is strained,whether they be sympathetic,


or
tures
indifferent,the subjectretains tincantipathetic,
and

and

su