John Gardner (American writer)

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John Champlin Gardner Jr. (July 21, 1933 – September 14, 1982) was an American novelist, essayist, literary critic and university professor.

See also: Grendel


On Moral Fiction (1977)[edit]

  • Technically our novelists (for instance) are shrewd enough, and publishers and reviewers seem, as never before, eager to be of use. Nevertheless, wherever we look it's the same: commercial slickness, misplaced cleverness, posturing, wild floundering -- dullness. Though not widely advertised, this is general knowledge. When one talks with editors of serious fiction, they all sound the same: they speak of their pleasure and satisfaction in their work, but more often than not the editor cannot think, under the moment's pressure, of a single contemporary writer he really enjoys reading. Some deny, even publicly, that any first-rate American novelists now exist. The ordinary reader has been saying that for years...
    • pp. 56-57 (in the HarperCollins BasicBooks edition), "Premises on Art and Morality"
  • True art is by its nature moral. We recognize true art by its careful, thoroughly honest search for and analysis of values.
    • p. 19 (in the HarperCollins BasicBooks edition), "Premises on Art and Morality"

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