A novel is a long prose narrative written by a novelist that describes fictional characters and events, usually in the form of a sequential story. The genre has historical roots in antiquity and the fields of medieval and early modern romance and in the tradition of the novella. The latter, an Italian word used to describe short stories, supplied the present generic English term in the 18th century.
Further definition of the genre is historically difficult. The construction of the narrative, the plot, the relation to reality, the characterization, and the use of language are usually discussed to show a novel's artistic merits. Most of these requirements were introduced to literary prose in the 16th and 17th centuries, in order to give fiction a justification outside the field of factual history.
|image=EternalSavage Burroughs FrontCover.jpg
||caption=A book published by Ace Books
||text=Ace Books is the oldest active specialty publisher of science fiction and fantasy books (example pictured) and issued many of the best known science fiction writers of the 1950s and 1960s. The company was founded in New York City in 1952 by Aaron A. Wyn, and began as a genre publisher of mysteries and westerns. It soon branched out into other genres, publishing its first science fiction title in 1953; this was a successful innovation, and within a few years, such titles outnumbered both mysteries and westerns. Ace became known for the tête-bêche binding format used for many of its early books, although it did not originate the format. Most of the early titles were published in this "Ace Double" format, and Ace continued to issue books in varied genres, bound tête-bêche, until 1973. These have proved attractive to book collectors, and some rare titles in mint condition command prices up to $1,000. It was one of the leading science fiction publishers for its first ten years, but its fortunes began to decline after the death of owner A. A. Wyn in 1967. Two prominent editors, Donald A. Wollheim and Terry Carr, left in 1971, and in 1972 Ace was sold to Grosset & Dunlap. It is now an [[imprint (trade name)|] of Penguin Group (USA).
- "You know that song 'If a body catch a body comin' through the rye'? I'd like — "
"It's 'If a body meet a body coming through the rye'!" old Phoebe said. "It's a poem. By Robert Burns."
"I know it's a poem by Robert Burns."
She was right, though. It is "If a body meet a body coming through the rye." I didn't know it then, though.
"I thought it was 'If a body catch a body,'" I said. "Anyway, I keep picturing all these little kids playing some game in this big field of rye and all. Thousands of little kids, and nobody's around — nobody big, I mean — except me. And I'm standing on the edge of some crazy cliff. What I have to do, I have to catch everybody if they start to go over the cliff — I mean if they're running and they don't look where they're going I have to come out from somewhere and catch them. That's all I'd do all day. I'd just be the catcher in the rye and all. I know it's crazy, but that's the only thing I'd really like to be. I know it's crazy."
The Catcher in the Rye