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On Moral Fiction set off a firestorm of controversy when it was first published in 1978. With a daring not obscured by the author's extraordinary humaneness of spirit, the book argued that contemporary literature suffers first and foremost from a basic failure of the test of "morality." By "moral fiction" the author meant fiction that attempts to test human values, not for the purpose of preaching or peddling a particular ideology or mode of conduct, but in a honest and open-minded effort to find out what best promotes human fulfillment. Such writing does so, as great artists beginning with Homer have always known, by the kind of analysis of characters and actions that brings both the writer and the reader to a fuller understanding, sympathy, and vision of human possibility. Because so much contemporary fiction fails to be moral in this sense, John Gardner argued, it undermines our experience of literature and our faith in ourselves
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Book Description Barnes & Noble Rediscovers. Hardcover. Condition: New. 9781435107786. Seller Inventory # 3611