Catching the very note and trick, the strange irregular rhythm of life, that is the attempt whose strenuous force keeps Fiction upon her feet.
Besant's suggestive lecture, might, without fear of misleading him, be addressed to the ingenuous student.
The old evangelical hostility to the novel, which was as explicit as it was narrow, and which regarded it as little less favourable to our immortal part than a stage-play, was in reality far less insulting.
Source: Rawlings, Peter. As for our novel, I may say, lastly, on this score, that, as we find it in England to-day, it strikes me as addressed in a large degree to "young people," and that this in itself constitutes a presumption that it will be rather shy.
When it is embodied in the work of the painter the sculptor is another affair! Art lives upon discussion, upon experiment, upon curiosity, upon variety of attempt, upon the exchange of views and the comparison of standpoints; and there is a presumption that those times when no one has anything particular to say about it, and has no reason to give for practice or preference, though they may be times of genius, are not times of development, are times possibly even, a little, of dulness.
The Mahometans think a picture an unholy thing, but it is a long time since any Christian did, and it is therefore the more odd that in the Christian mind the traces dissimulated though they may be of a suspicion of the sister art should linger to this day.
The degree of interest that lies in these moments that the author presents in his book depends on the way they are described, not in the event itself.
Besant, I have left the question of the morality of the novel till the last, and at the last I find I have used up my space. Besant's of the novel as a superior form encounters not only a negative but a positive indifference.