Shop H.E. Bates Online
ID
c35
Title
"The Novelist's Ear."
Genre
Essay
Page Count
6
Word Count
2500
Publisher
Fortnightly
Publication Year
1936
Document Types
Full-text Online
Literary Criticism

A call to novelists to listen to the speech of real people, reflect that in their writing, and thus document it for future historians. Bates notes that, with the exception of D.H. Lawrence and Charles Dickens, English novelists employ a stilted, lifeless, and standardized speech that bears no resemblance to the "speech of everyday life." In contrast, he praises the "vital crispness" in the novels of Faulkner, Hemingway and other Americans.Throughout his career, Bates was praised for his use of rural dialects and idiom in the creation of strong characters and atmosphere. In the Fortnightly (March 1936, cxlv, pp. 277-282).


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