Fiction and paintings competing with life

“The only reason for the existence of a novel is that it does compete with life. When it ceases to compete as the canvas of the painter competes, it will have arrived at a very strange pass. It is not expected of the picture that it will make itself humble in order to be forgiven; and the analogy between the art of the painter and the art of the novelist is, so far as I am able to see, complete. Their inspiration is the same, their process (allowing for the different quality of the vehicle) is the same, their success is the same. They may learn from each other, they may explain and sustain each other.”
James, Henry. Partial Portraits. Macmillan and Co. London. 1894. https://archive.org/stream/partialportraits00jameiala#page/378/mode/2up
Fiction is art in the same sense that paintings are art: they both seek to capture and imitate the various experiences that make up and influence human existence.