John Gardner – On Moral Fiction


“Fearless, illuminating” criticism from a New York Times bestselling author and legendary teacher, “proving… that true art is moral and not trivial” (Los Angeles Times).

Novelist John Gardner’s thesis in On Moral Fiction is simple: “True art is by its nature moral.” It is also an audacious statement, as Gardner asserts an inherent value in life and in art. Since the book’s first publication, the passion behind Gardner’s assertion has both provoked and inspired fans. In examining the work of his peers, Gardner analyzes what has gone wrong, in his view, in modern art and literature, and how shortcomings in artistic criticism have contributed to the problem. He develops his argument by showing how artists and critics can reintroduce morality and substance to their work to improve society and cultivate our morality.

On Moral Fiction is a must-listen book in which Gardner presents his thoughtfully developed criteria for the elements he believes are essential to art and its creation.

Author: John Gardner
Narrator: Bob Souer
Duration: 6 hours 17 minutes
Released: 19 Dec 2002
Publisher: Tantor Audio
Language: English

User Review:

faction intact

John Gardner does not mince words when he gives examples of bad writers, bad writing and bad critical reviews and critics. The audio book give a great ‘in depth’ analysis of Art, Beauty, Truth and Goodness. No wonder it caused such an uproar when it came out almost 40 years ago. You can call it smug, elite, snobbish – yet as far as I am concerned, it’s honesty is refreshing.