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By David Dowling (eds.)

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Wuthen"ng Heights has no mythology beyond what these two characters provide: no great book is more cut off from the universals of Heaven and Hell. It is local, like the spirits it engenders, and whereas we may meet Moby Dick in any pond, we shall only encounter them among the harebells and limestone of their own country. 6 Forster Subconsciously aware of the subconscious. 7 James The personal position of the three sisters, of the two in particular, had been marked, in short, with so sharp Novelists on Novelists 36 an accent that this accent has become for us the very tone of their united production.

And so it is with character after character- in book after book .... But if you take a larger view I think that Mr Bennett is perfecdy right. If, that is, you think of the novels which seem to you great novels ... you do at once think of some character who has seemed to you so real (I do not by that mean so life-like) that it has the power to make you think not merely of it itself, but of all sorts of things through its eyes ... The most prominent and successful novelists in the year 1910 were, I suppose, Mr Wells, Mr Bennett, andMrGalsworthy.

Opinions held under the semblance of eternity, girt with the sea, crowned with the stars, and therefore easily mistaken for a creed ... If he lived only in his experiences, never lifting his eyes to what lies beyond them: or if, having seen what lies beyond, he would subordinate his experiences to it - then in either case he would be easier to read. But he is neither case. He is too much of a seer to restrain his spirit; he is too much Joseph Conrad, too jealous of personal honour, to give any but the fullest value to deeds and dangers he has known ...

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