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The Tradition in Modern Novel Theory: E.M. Forster, Somerset Maugham and Joyce Cary by K.K. Sharma Abhinav Publications, New Delhi, 1982, 196 pp., 65.00
May-June 1982, volume 6, No 6

Dr Sharma’s book holds as its major thesis that three ‘distinguished theorists and practitioners of the art of fic¬tion,’ E.M. Forster, Somerset Maugham and Joyce Cary, between the years 1927-1958, have given a direction to what he calls ‘the modern-novel theory.’ To put it in his own words, as these writers ‘are neither blindly traditional nor just too pro- or anti-modernity, they offer a rational, balanced poetics of the novel.’ The method adopted is to offer a preliminary chapter summariz¬ing the views of D.H. Lawrence and Virginia Woolf to indicate ‘radical’ theories of fiction, followed by a chapter on each of the writers under purview summarizing their views on plot, character, function of the novel etc., with a concluding chapter summing up the ‘basic merits, weaknesses and tradi¬tional nature of their fictional theories.’

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