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A Manual of the Art of Fiction


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Book Excerpt: 
. . .sophy pointed out the only method through which it might develop. Deduction has of course survived as a method of conducting thought; but it has lost the undisputed empery which it held over the ancient and the medieval mind. Now, if we turn to the history of fiction, we shall notice the significant fact that realism is a strictly modern product. All fiction was romantic till the days of Bacon. Realism is contemporaneous with modern science and the other applications of inductive thought. Romance survives, of course; but it has lost the undisputed empery of fiction 35 which it held in ancient and in medieval times. If Bacon had written fiction, he would have been a realist––the first realist in the history of literature; and this is the only reply that is necessary to those who still maintain (if any do) that he was capable of writing the romantic plays of Shakespeare.

If it be granted now that the realist, by induction, leads his reader up from a . . . Read More