The Making of a Novelist

An Experiment in Autobiography

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Published: 1894
Language: English
Wordcount: 32,626 / 95 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 69.1
LoC Category: CT
Downloads: 477
Added to site: 2007.08.02
mnybks.net#: 17807
Genre: Biography

Every man who writes about himself is, on the face of the matter, obnoxious to the suspicion which haunts the daily pathway of the Bore. To talk of self and not be offensive demands an art which is not always given to man. And yet we are always longing to get near each other and to understand each other; and in default of a closer communion with our living fellows we take to our bosoms the shadows of fiction and the stage. If the real man could be presented to us by any writer of his own history we should all hail him with enthusiasm.

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of a restaurant. 'You'll get up right enough,' said the warder. He got up, and they hanged him.

Where everything was strange and dreamlike, the oddest thing of all was to see Calcraft take the pinioned fin-like hand of the prisoner and shake it when he had drawn the white cap over the face and arranged the rope. He came creaking in new boots down the sticky steps of the gallows, pulled a rope to free a support which ran on a single wheel in an iron groove, and the man was dead in a second. The white cap fitted close to his face, and the thin white linen took a momentary stain of purple, as if a bag of blackberries had been bruised and had suddenly exuded the juice of the fruit. It sagged away a moment later and assumed its natural hue.

I learned from the evening paper and from the journals of next morning that the prisoner met his fate with equanimity. I think that in that report I bottomed the depths of human stupidity, if such a thing is possible. I had never seen a man afraid before; and, whe

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