Writing IS Art!

In the article, Henry James and The Art of Fiction
by Nasrullah Mambrol asserts that:

“The novel has struggled to be taken seriously as an art form.”

I couldn’t agree more! Writing fiction, like giving birth, creates new life (with in it’s pages). Art is the embodiment of creation.

"The very title of James’s essay begins his campaign on its behalf: ‘art’ and ‘fiction’, often seen at odds with each other, are placed side by side here.

James begins by referring to ‘the mystery of story-telling’, and it is worth reminding ourselves that the word ‘mystery’ originally referred to the secrets of a particular trade, or craft, and that ‘art’ was generally applied in mediaeval times and beyond to practical skills.

James’s perspective in this essay is very much that of the producer, of the novelist, and he wants to retrieve this older, practical sense of ‘art’, together with the meaning that developed in the Romantic period (in literature, from around the 1780s through to the 1830s).

In that period, artists were regarded as creative geniuses involved in the production of beautiful artefacts."

I love this last sentence so much it makes me swoon (and inspires me with pen in hand, to write on!)

If you would like to read more check out the full article here,

What do you think about writing fiction as art?

If your writing was compared to a famous painter, who would you be? Picasso? Waterhouse? Rembrandt? Monet? Da Vinci?

For more great essay analysis by Nasrullah Mambrol check in at literariness.org for some great reads!



This particular sentence struck me,

“At the core of James’s definition of the novel is what he sees as its responsibility to represent life.”

It’s so true, and it covers so much more ground than it might seem to at first glance. Representing life doesn’t just cover writing about things that “actually happened.” It means showing the world truth.That might not always manifest itself in a contemporary (or historical) setting. The fantastic is just as much a representation of life as the mundane, and sometimes, there are aspects of life that can’t be effectively communicated in a “real-world” setting–either because society has grown callous to it or because it’s just too potent, and it needs a different method of expression.

Representing life is a tall order, but it’s worth every battle.


That is where the magic happens in the writing, isn’t it?


I like that last line of the quote–some aspects of life need to be represented in a fantastic setting because they are too potent. That puts into words the way I feel about some of my stories.