Frank Norris: The Responsibilities of the Novelist

(317 words)
  • Jude Davies (University of Winchester)

The Responsibilities of the Novelist and Other Literary Essays was a posthumous selection of the literary criticism Norris contributed to a variety of American magazines and newspapers from 1896 to 1902. Assembled after Norris's death by his wife Jeannette Norris, the collection includes some historically interesting considerations of English courses at the University of California in the 1890s, western literature, and the significance of the closure of the American frontier. Its main significance lies in Norris's interventions in debates over genre, largely to explicate and defend his own practice. The touchstone of such contemporary debates was the value of Emile Zola, whose “naturalism” was alternately celebrated or s…

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Davies, Jude. "The Responsibilities of the Novelist". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 20 October 2001
[, accessed 28 May 2015.]