A Quite Formal Order

‘I have often considered whether, in the novel, perfect form is a good, or even a possible thing… Human life and human manners are too various, too moving, to be brought into the fixity of a quite formal order. There will come a moment, constantly, when style must suffer, or the closeness and clearness of narration must be sacrificed, some minute exception of action or psychology must lose its natural place, or its full emphasis’ (Arthur Symons)

‘The novel is a container for chaos; and like all such containers, it is doomed to failure: a farce and a farrago. The best novels, I believe, are broken. They seep. They are cracked. They fall into chaos, wherein they start, at last, to live.’ (Vladimir Dorwindovitch)

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