The Men in the High Castle #1: Aspects of the Novel; What's So Novel About the Novel

by Indiana… on Thursday, 10 February 2011

In recent years the novel has dropped in my estimation, whilst I can not truthfully say I've not enjoyed many good novels, I find myself increasingly tasked to justify their space on my bookshelf. The novel seems so often to reside in the bad lands between the short story and poetry —and on an entirely separate axis to non fiction; large ponderous books that lack sufficient information or entertainment value to justify this great bulk.

Prolix prose that simply feels too often redundant, lacking either the leanness of the short story or the mellifluousness of poetry: one day I may sit down and read what I have left of Tolstoy or Cervantes, but for now I simply wonder what would be the point. They are undoubtedly fine authors but can they really justify every word: a good author would no doubt consider ~95% efficiency good, but when you are writing hundreds of pages the opportunity cost is simply immense.

I realise this is not really an argument of form, more of simple economy and maybe this is where I'm going wrong dear readers… what are your thoughts, what is so novel about the novel ? Remember the comments thread is always open for business.

PS Further reading at Weapons Grade Ennui.

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