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November 19 , 2007

The Author's Craft


Dodo Collections brings you another classic from Arnold Bennett, ‘The Author’s Craft’.
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Written in 1914, this is a short exposition by Bennett on writing. He doesn’t get into technique other than to expound on the need for “design” or “construction” to follow inspiration. He writes with passion; indeed he mentions that passion is one of the two essential characteristics of the novelist. The other key attribute being a sense of beauty.

He also discusses the key differences between writing novels and writing plays - having written about twenty of each.
Bennett (1867-1931) was a British novelist. He was born in a modest house in Hanley in the Potteries district of Staffordshire. At age 21 he went to London as a solicitor’s clerk. He won a literary competition in Tit Bits magazine in 1889 and was encouraged to take up journalism full time. From 1900 he devoted himself full time to writing, giving up the editorship and writing much serious criticism, and also theatre journalism, one of his special interests. In 1902 Anna of the Five Towns, the first of a succession of stories which detailed life in the Potteries appeared. In 1908 The Old Wives’ Tale was published, and was an immediate success throughout the English-speaking world. His most famous works are the Clayhanger (1910) trilogy and The Old Wives’ Tale. These books draw on his experience of life in the Potteries, as did most of his best work. Among his other books are: The Grand Babylon Hotel (1902), The Grim Smile of the Five Towns (1907), Hilda Lessways (1911), The Author’s Craft (1914), The Lion’s Share (1916), and The Roll-Call (1919).
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