John Gardner (1933-1982) Long Fiction Analysis - Essay

John Gardner Jr.

John Gardner (1933-1982) Long Fiction Analysis

(Survey of Novels and Novellas)

John Gardner is a difficult writer to classify. He was alternately a realist and a fabulist, a novelist of ideas and a writer who maintained that characters and human situations are always more important than philosophy. He was, as well, an academically inclined New Novelist whose work is formally innovative, stylistically extravagant, openly parodic, and highly allusive; yet, at the same time, he was an accessible, popular storyteller, one who some critics, in the wake of On Moral Fiction, have labeled a reactionary traditionalist. It is perhaps best to think of Gardner not as a writer who belongs to any one school but instead as a writer who, in terms of style, subject, and moral vision, mediates between the various...

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