Mid-West Quarterly, The (1913-1918)


Date of this Version



Published in THE MID-WEST QUARTERLY 2:4 (July 1915), pp. 390-396. Published by G.P. Putnam’s Sons & the University of Nebraska.


Every great' novel is born of the conviction, on the part of the author, that he has had experiences or conceptions which the race should share in the interests of a fuller manhood and womanhood. Frequently such novels are evolved in the throes of a great movement-religious, political, or social; and the novel with a purpose is the result. If these premises are correct, it would seem at first sight that the novel with a purpose is the highest type of novel, for if the novelist is the mediator of ideals, that writer who throws himself headlong into a great cause must produce wonderful results. During the great liberal movement of the forties this principle was accepted as the real literary gospel in Germany, and in our anti-slavery days American poets accepted the doctrine with enthusiasm.