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 :: Famous Quotations Topic: Fiction (57 Quotations)

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Although our productions have afforded more extensive and unaffected pleasure than those of any other literary corporation in the world, no species of composition has been so much decried. ''And what are you reading, Miss -- -?'' ''Oh! it is only a novel!'' replies the young lady; while she lays down her book with affected indifference, or momentary shame. ''It is only Cecilia, or Camilla, or Belinda ''; or, in short, only some work in which the greatest powers of the mind are displayed, in which the most thorough knowledge of human nature, the happiest delineation of its varieties, the liveliest effusions of wit and humor, are conveyed to the world in the best chosen language.
~ Jane Austen

 

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We live in a world ruled by fictions of every kind -- mass merchandising, advertising, politics conducted as a branch of advertising, the instant translation of science and technology into popular imagery, the increasing blurring and intermingling of identities within the realm of consumer goods, the preempting of any free or original imaginative response to experience by the television screen. We live inside an enormous novel. For the writer in particular it is less and less necessary for him to invent the fictional content of his novel. The fiction is already there. The writer's task is to invent the reality.
~ J. G. Ballard

 

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Novels are longer than life.
~ Natalie Clifford Barney

 

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Fiction is not imagination. It is what anticipates imagination by giving it the form of reality. This is quite opposite to our own natural tendency which is to anticipate reality by imagining it, or to flee from it by idealizing it. That is why we shall never inhabit true fiction; we are condemned to the imaginary and nostalgia for the future.
~ Jean Baudrillard

 

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The traditional novel form continues to enlarge our experience in those very areas where the wide-angle lens and the Cinema screen tend to narrow it.
~ Daniel J. Boorstin

 

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Writing novels preserves you in a state of innocence -- a lot passes you by -- simply because your attention is otherwise diverted.
~ Anita Brookner

 

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Our interest's on the dangerous edge of things. The honest thief, the tender murderer, the superstitious atheist.
~ Robert Browning

 

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If you write fiction you are, in a sense, corrupted. There's a tremendous corruptibility for the fiction writer because you're dealing mainly with sex and violence. These remain the basic themes, they're the basic themes of Shakespeare whether you like it or not.
~ Anthony Burgess

 

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Novelists are perhaps the last people in the world to be entrusted with opinions. The nature of a novel is that it has no opinions, only the dialectic of contrary views, some of which, all of which, may be untenable and even silly. A novelist should not be too intelligent either, although he may be permitted to be an intellectual.
~ Anthony Burgess

 

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But I hate things all fiction... there should always be some foundation of fact for the most airy fabric -- and pure invention is but the talent of a liar.
~ Lord Byron

 

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Romances I never read like those I have seen.
~ Lord Byron

 

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Novels as dull as dishwater, with the grease of random sentiments floating on top.
~ Italo Calvino

 

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What is a novel if not a conviction of our fellow-men's existence strong enough to take upon itself a form of imagined life clearer than reality and whose accumulated verisimilitude of selected episodes puts to shame the pride of documentary history?
~ Joseph Conrad

 

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The narrative impulse is always with us; we couldn't imagine ourselves through a day without it.
~ Robert Coover

 

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If I were a writer, how I would enjoy being told the novel is dead. How liberating to work in the margins, outside a central perception. You are the ghoul of literature. Lovely.
~ Don Delillo

 

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There is no longer any such thing as fiction or nonfiction; there's only narrative.
~ E. L. Doctorow

 

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I at least have so much to do in unraveling certain human lots, and seeing how they were woven and interwoven, that all the light I can command must be concentrated on this particular web, and not dispersed over that tempting range of relevancies called the universe.
~ George Eliot

 

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The final test for a novel will be our affection for it, as it is the test of our friends, and of anything else which we cannot define.
~ Edward M. Forster

 

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Writing a novel is not merely going on a shopping expedition across the border to an unreal land: it is hours and years spent in the factories, the streets, the cathedrals of the imagination.
~ Janet Frame

 

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By its very nature, the novel indicates that we are becoming. There is no final solution. There is no last word.
~ Carlos Fuentes

 

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