Essay on John Gardner and The Art of Fiction

Essay on John Gardner and The Art of Fiction

Length: 1056 words (3 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview



John Gardner and The Art of Fiction

 



After reading The Art of Fiction by John Gardner, I am definitely more knowledgeable on the topic of writing fiction than I was before. The first sentence of this book reads, "This is a book designed to teach the serious beginning writer the art of fiction" (ix). I believe it does just that and perhaps much more. The book is divided into two main sections: "notes on literary-aesthetic theory" and "notes on the fictional process." This allows the reader to hear commentary on two very different views of fiction, thus giving the aspiring writer a well-rounded understanding of the subject.

Although a large part of this books deals with the method one uses to write a successful piece of fiction ("notes on the fictional process"), a substantial section is devoted to helping the student understand exactly what fiction is and what it should try to accomplish (notes on literary-aesthetic theory). This point is emphasized in the preface of the book, in which Gardner explains, "Understanding very clearly what fiction 'goes for,' how it works as a mode of thought, in short what the art of fiction is, is the first step towards writing well" (x).

 

From this point in the preface, Gardner goes on to state in the first chapter of the book that there are no set rules or laws that one has to follow when writing a piece of fiction. This is not to say that rules do not exist; however, they can always be bent or even broken in any given situation. In short, the rules of writing a piece of fiction are only what the writer makes them out to be, and as long as the piece of fiction follows some kind of rule, it will not fail.

 

Of all the points that Gardner made in The Art of Fictio...


... middle of paper ...


...en I began reading this book, I will have to admit that I had a grudge against books of this kind. This is mainly because I was under the impression that books such as The Art of Fiction attempted to tell you how a piece of fiction ought to be written. However, I quickly learned that I was wrong. All this book attempts to do is teach the young writer about fiction and the many ways it can be approached. Furthermore, Gardner encourages the reader to chart his or her own course when it comes to writing fiction and not feel bound by a set of rules, an idea that I agree with wholeheartedly.

 

Perhaps the biggest surprise for me about this book is that I actually found it enjoyable and interesting to read. Not only did reading this book make me a better writer, it also refreshed my interest in writing fiction, an interest that I may pursue far beyond high school.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Analysis Of ' Grendel ' By John Gardner Essay

- T.S. Eliot, a poet, playwright, and literary critic, once stated, “People exercise an unconscious selection in being influenced.” Naturally, every experience people have and every person they meet leaves an impact on their lives. Whether positive or negative, outside influences can alter the way one thinks, acts, and even views the world. In John Gardner’s novel, Grendel, Grendel encounters numerous characters who play vital roles in the shaping and development of his overall persona. Though much of Grendel’s time was spent in his cave or spying in the woods, what minimal public contact he actually shared spurred major lasting impressions....   [tags: Life, Meaning of life, John Gardner]

Strong Essays
1186 words (3.4 pages)

Essay on Satire in John Gardner's Grendel

- Satire in Grendel "The state is an organization of violence, a monopoly in what it is pleased to call legitimate violence (Gardner, 119)." This excerpt from John Gardner's Grendel shows one of the many issues he deals with in his satire of man, and that is the issue of the use of violence in society. Gardner shows this throughout the book, but most prominently in chapter eight, in which we learn of the arrival of Hrothulf, Hrothgar's nephew, at Herot. Hrothgar recognizes the evil in Hrothgar's kingdom....   [tags: John Gardner Grendel ]

Strong Essays
613 words (1.8 pages)

A Comparison of Grendel in Beowulf and John Gardner's Grendel Essay

- In both works, Beowulf and Grendel, Grendel himself is generally given the same connotations. He is given kennings, called names, referred to as the evil spawn of Cain, and even viewed as a monster; but why. Why in both books is he a wicked, horrible, person who is harshly excluded from everyone. After stumbling upon John Gardner's book, it was halfway expected that some excuse would be made for Grendel; that he wasn't really the inexorable monster the thanes in Beowulf portrayed him as. But all it really did was make him worse....   [tags: John Gardner Beowulf]

Strong Essays
740 words (2.1 pages)

Henry James' The Art of Fiction Essay

- Henry James' The Art of Fiction In an essay written in response to an essay written by Walter Besant, both titled "The Art of Fiction", Henry James provides both a new understanding of fiction and greater understand of his own works. James analyses, however briefly, the process of creation of a work of fiction, readers' responses to it, and the requirements of the work and the author. James' language within this essay may be in need of some levity, but he does occasionally break through the haze to make a very strong and effective point: "[T]he only condition that I can think of attaching to the composition of a novel is…that it be sincere" (161) There is point in which over-analysis take...   [tags: Henry James The Art of Fiction]

Strong Essays
649 words (1.9 pages)

The Shaper in John Gardner´s the Grendeh Essay example

- A Shaper represents the power of one’s imagination and art to change their perceptions about themselves and the world in which they live. Through the eyes of a Shaper, he may manipulate others by what he thinks or seems to believe, but many will prevail against him. Many will believe in a Shaper by the power of his language, which can be looked at in a positive or negative way. Similarly to Martin Luther King Jr., who pursued equality through his writing and speeches, he made a difference in the world....   [tags: reform, language, persuade, shaper]

Strong Essays
1359 words (3.9 pages)

Essay on Anaylsis of Grendel by John Gardner

- Most authors, occasionally uses their characters to guide their personal views they want to emphasize to their audience. In the novel, Grendel written by John Gardner, Gardner uses Grendel as an agent to portray his perspective of the evil and corrupt world of humans and their place in the universe. Gardner not only uses Grendel as a vehicle, but also uses the Dragon as another source to express his opinions of people in the world. Gardner can be considered as an isolated human being, who is kept away from the affection of others; Grendel and Gardner can be closely related due to the fact that Gardner is embodied as Grendel in a more dimensional aspect....   [tags: evil, corrupt, dragon, text]

Strong Essays
698 words (2 pages)

Grendal by John Gardner Essay

- Grendal Throughout the novel Grendel by John Gardner, the main character Grendel is searching for answers about life, most importantly the meaning of life. He is confused with how he wants to view life and searches for some reason to why he exists. He turned too many for these answers; his mother, man, and the dragon, but no one could provide Grendel the answer he so desperately sought, all just pushed him to the idea of existentialism. Grendel’s first impression was to ask his mother about the meaning of life and what was his part in it....   [tags: essays papers]

Strong Essays
839 words (2.4 pages)

John Gardner on Leadership Essay

- John W. Gardner Introduction John W. Gardner born 1912, had a varied and productive career as an educator, public official, and political reformer. Gardner's belief in society's potential was his guiding force, but he was wary of the dangers of complacency and inaction. Perhaps best known as the founder of the lobby Common Cause, he was the author of several best-selling books on the themes of achieving personal and societal excellence. Biography Gardner's public career began with his employment in 1946 as a staff member at the Carnegie Corporation, a foundation dedicated to the advancement and dissemination of knowledge....   [tags: Biography Leadership Ideology Research Paper]

Free Essays
1413 words (4 pages)

John Gardner's Grendel Essay

- John Gardner's Grendel The archeologist's eyes combine the view of the telescope and the view of the microscope. He reconstructs the very distant with the help of the very small. - Thornton Wilder These words, uttered by Thornton Wilder regarding his play Our Town express the antithesis of nihilism, a philosophy which stresses the lack of objective truth. Nihilism, as well as existentialism and a host of other philosophies are boldly explored in Grendel, a novel by John Gardner....   [tags: Grendel Essays]

Strong Essays
843 words (2.4 pages)

Helen Gardner Essay

- Helen Gardner In act one scene one we discover that Helen is a very down to earth type of person as she says “when I find somewhere for us to live I have to consider something far more important than your feelings. . . .The rent”, this shows that she is thinking about the more important things in life, she is also emphasising the letter “I” which is implying that she is a lot better than her daughter, this also shows that she has a roof over Jo’s head. The beginning of this play shows that Helen enjoys drink, “pass me a glass Jo” the first thing that she thinks about is alcohol, this shows that if she can afford to buy whisky then she may have been able to find a better place for them to li...   [tags: Helen Gardner Essays]

Free Essays
2954 words (8.4 pages)