Henry James On Experience

"It is equally excellent and inconclusive to say that one must write from experience… Experience is never limited, and it is never complete; it is an immense sensibility, a kind of huge spider-web of the finest silken threads suspended in the chamber of consciousness, and caching every air-borne particle in its tissue."

The above quotation was taken from James’ essay The Art of Fiction. It is a must read essay for anyone aspiring to become a great literary artist (novelist especially). In the essay, James teaches us the important of art above the merits morality and philosophy and any other –ism we may find in the field of literary criticism. A writer may have a supreme intellectuality and the highest virtues of morality, but if he fails in the “execution” of the art, therefore he is not yet a complete artist. In my eyes, many of our writers today tend to view themselves as religious mullah with a sacred pen or an intellectual politician carrying the banner of nationalism and in the process they lock their eyes in the closet of ignorance. They think that with great ideas it is enough to transform them into a complete literary artist. But the truth is, dear readers, they are nothing but pest who buzz around the door of aesthetic genius. Sadly, the literature communities of our nation are embracing these intellectual pests and willingly eat the shit that they throw up in our literary garden. So sad and yet so true.


Popular Posts