The Craft of Fiction

The Craft of Fiction

Percy Lubbock

Language / Writing / Nonfiction

Percy Lubbock’s “The Craft of Fiction,” like E. M. Forster\'s "Aspects of the Novel," is an essential work of criticism. Lubbock\'s outlook is an extension of Henry James\'s. More immediately accessible than James, Lubbock illustrates the "craft" by reference to classic novels such as Tolstoy\'s "Anna Karenina," Flaubert\'s "Madame Bovary," Thackeray\'s "Vanity Fair," and of course James\'s own works, particularly "The Ambassadors." Lubbock, Forster, F. R. Leavis\'s "The Great Tradition," and Ian Watt\'s "Rise of the Novel" give you what you need to know if you want to understand the central canon in Anglo-American and European fiction. Lubbock’s book is the one recommended by Graham Greene in his autobiography. Before embarking on his illustrious career, Greene studied “The Craft of Fiction” inside and out before embarking on his illustrious career. Perhaps no other stamp of approval is needed after that. Even if this book doesn’t make a great novelist out of you, it will teach you how to recognize one. If you are interested in how the great novelists ply their trade, Percy Lubbock’s book ranks right up there with the must-reads of novel how-to’s.
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