Host(s): John R. Maier and Paul Ferguson
Tape order number: C-380
Visit Date: October 5, 1977
Length: 54 minutes
Brief Summary: Gardner says that good fiction is moral fiction. He discusses the merits of "unrealistic" over realistic novels, and says that plot and setting exist only to develop and feed character. Gardner discusses the problems of existentialism and asserts the primacy of history in shaping our lives. He talks about metafiction as being fiction that the reader is conscious of as fiction. Gardner also talks at length about Beowulf and The Canterbury Tales.
What's moral in fiction is its way of looking; it's not what it says.
-- John Gardner