Analysis Of The Book ' From The Art Of Fiction ' By Henry James

730 Words Aug 25th, 2015 3 Pages
For anyone who writes, there is always a question of whether or not the end product is any good. In “From The Art of Fiction,” American writer Henry James implies that the secret to good writing is to infuse it with experience, whether vast or limited, authentic or cultivated through imagination. James reiterates that the writer’s process of gaining inspirational experience is never complete. Furthermore, he affirms that genius lies within the writer’s ability to openly collect experiences, and he notes how those “on whom nothing is lost” may take even the simplest of moments and develop them into stories worth reading (“From The Art of Fiction” 909). He uses the example of a “genius” female English writer who “having once, in Paris, as she ascended a staircase, passed an open door where, in the household of a pasteur, some of the young Protestants were seated at table round a finished meal” (“From The Art of Fiction” 909). While she was not a part of the scene, her experience of witnessing it created in her mind a lasting image, thus giving her the foundation on which to build a story. After filling holes in the narrative with her own prior knowledge and other related experiences, she “produced a reality” and made the story come alive (“From The Art of Fiction” 909). In fact, James describes novels as living beings, suggesting that their inner workings connect to form a circuit essential to the work’s existence and one in which experience provides life-sustaining…

Related Documents