Random Quote #69 topic: bierce-devil, The Devil's Dictionary by Ambrose Bierce

NOVEL, n. A short story padded. A species of composition bearing the
same relation to literature that the panorama bears to art. As it is
too long to be read at a sitting the impressions made by its
successive parts are successively effaced, as in the panorama. Unity,
totality of effect, is impossible; for besides the few pages last read
all that is carried in mind is the mere plot of what has gone before.
To the romance the novel is what photography is to painting. Its
distinguishing principle, probability, corresponds to the literal
actuality of the photograph and puts it distinctly into the category
of reporting; whereas the free wing of the romancer enables him to
mount to such altitudes of imagination as he may be fitted to attain;
and the first three essentials of the literary art are imagination,
imagination and imagination. The art of writing novels, such as it
was, is long dead everywhere except in Russia, where it is new. Peace
to its ashes -- some of which have a large sale.


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