This short book offers the dispassionate but sharp-tonguedcomments on the novel, by an old fiction hand, a personal exercise of taste andjudgment, backed by a life interest in the history and methods of literarycriticism. It reviews the evergreen question of the death of the novel,so often and confidently announced; the difficulties, peculiar to ournihilistic and often brutal age, that press on the contemporary novelist; theeffect on him and his work of the technological revolution; his increasingdiffidence in face of the overwhelming prestige of science in our day; thechanging language of fiction; the novel as an art form; the nouveau roman, andits most sophisticated and more esoteric cousin, the nouvelle critique; theeruption into common daylight of pornographic fiction; the use and misuse ofcensorship. It attempts to decide whether the traditional or classic novel hasa future and what sort of future. Though it may offend a great many solemnpersons it has not been written to give offence, but in a serious effort toreach some positive conclusions about the health, the moral and aestheticworth, of the novel in a day when our minds are, as never before, at the mercyof their worst dreams.
Storm Jameson (1891- 1986) born to a North Yorkshire family of shipbuilders. Jameson's fiery mother, who bore three girls, encouraged Storm (christened Margaret Storm) to pursue an academic education. After being taught privately and at Scarborough municipal school she won one of three county scholarships which enabled her to read English Literature at Leeds University. She then went on to complete an MA in European Drama at King's College London.
During her career Jameson wrote forty-five novels, numerous pamphlets, essays, and reviews, in an effort to make money. Her personal life suffered, and her first marriage to schoolmaster Charles Douglas Clarke was an unhappy one. After they divorced in 1925, Jameson went on to marry Guy Chapman, a fellow author, and remained with him despite her apparent rejection of normal domestic life.
Storm Jameson was always politically active, helping to publish a Marxist journal in the British section of the International Union of Revolutionary Writers in 1934 and attending anti-fascist rallies.