Novel Reader Quotes

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Novel Reader Quotes

I am no indiscriminate novel reader. The mere trash of the common circulating library I hold in the highest contempt.
— Jane Austen —

The contract between the author and the reader is a game. And the game ... is one of the greatest invetions of Western civilization: the game of telling stories, inventing characters, and creating the imaginary paradise of the individual, from whence no one can be expelled because, in a novel, no one owns the truth and everyone has the right to be heard and understood.

— Carlos Fuentes

If reason be judge, no writer has produced such inconsistent characters as nature herself has. It must call for no small sagacity in a reader unerringly to discriminate in a novel between the inconsistencies of conception and those of life. As elsewhere, experience is the only guide here; but as no one man's experience can be coextensive with what is, it may be unwise in every case to rest upon it.

— Herman Melville

A novel can enlarge the empathy and imagination of both its author and its reader, and my experience, that sense of enlargement is most intense when I'm transported beyond the narrow limits of my daily life.

— Anthony Marra

I had thought for years, probably 30 or 40 years, that it would be a lot of fun to try my hand at a classic English mystery novel ... I love that form very much because the reader is so familiar with all of the types of characters that are in there that they already identify with the book.

— Alan Bradley

What draws the reader to the novel is the hope of warming his shivering life with a death he reads about

— Walter Benjamin

A novel requires a certain kind of world-building and also a certain kind of closure, ultimately. Whereas with a short story you have this sense that there are hinges that the reader doesn't see.

— Dan Chaon

A novel works it's magic by putting a reader inside another person's life. The pace is as slow as life. It's as detailed as life. It requires you, the reader, to fill in an outline of words with vivid pictures drawn subconsciously from your own life, so that the story feels more personal than the sets designed by someone else and handed over via TV or movies. Literature duplicates the experience of living in a way that nothing else can, drawing you so fully into another life that you temporarily forget you have one of your own. That is why you read it, and might even sit up in bed till early dawn, throwing your whole tomorrow out of whack, simply to find out what happens to some people who, you know perfectly well, are made up. It's why you might find yourself crying, even if you aren't the crying kind.

— Barbara Kingsolver

Ayn Rand held that art is a 're-creation of reality according to an artist's metaphysical value-judgements.' By its nature, therefore, a novel (like a statue or a symphony) does not require or tolerate an explanatory preface; it is a self-contained universe, aloof from commentary, beckoning the reader to enter, perceive, respond.

— Leonard Peikoff

The novel ... creates a bemusing effect. The short story, on the other hand wakes the reader up. Not only that, it answers the primitive craving for art, the wit, paradox and beauty of shape, the longing to see a dramatic pattern and significance in our experience.

— V.S. Pritchett

Between Malraux, Balzac, and Montaigne, I choose Montaigne. Montaigne will survive all the others, because the essay, meaning direct communication between the writer and his reader, will outlast the novel, by at least a thousand years.

— Gore Vidal

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