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The History of Harvard's Commencement, Explained

MODERN HISTORICAL NOVELS PRAISED IN DEVOTO SPEECH

NO WRITER ATTRIBUTED

"Historical fiction is better right now than it ever has been before," Bernard DeVoto '20, editor of the Saturday Review of Literature stated last night in his concluding address at the New Lecture Hall.

Bewailing the fact that such fiction frequently draws mediocre writers because it provides ready-made the stuff and substance of romance that they are incapable of creating for themselves, he said the historical novel must stand on its own merits as fiction.

He who would write great historical novels "must show us character in relation to events greater than individuals, and yet he must show us character first of all as itself alone." He predicted that when a truly distinguished novel about the class struggle is written, it will not be dubbed "proletariat," but will stand as a great novel in its own right.

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