Lady Anna, 1874 1200 0 0
We have always relied on emotional contact and signalsfrom our parents, peers, teachers and friends toguide us through our lives. We are influenced by theiremotional feedback, their gestures and their way ofdoing things. When your mother or father sat a certainway, you would do the same; if a cool friend or a moviestar walks a certain way, you might adopt a similar gait.
Thinking of all this, as a novelist surely must do — as I certainly have done through my whole career — it becomes to him a matter of deep conscience how he shall handle those characters by whose words and doings he hopes to interest his readers. It will very frequently be the case that he will be tempted to sacrifice something for effect, to say a word or two here, or to draw a picture there, for which he feels that he has the power, and which when spoken or drawn would be alluring. The regions of absolute vice are foul and odious. The savour of them, till custom has hardened the palate and the nose, is disgusting. In these he will hardly tread. But there are outskirts on these regions, on which sweet-smelling flowers seem to grow; and grass to be green. It is in these border-lands that the danger lies. The novelist may not be dull. If he commit that fault he can do neither harm nor good. He must please, and the flowers and the grass in these neutral territories sometimes seem to give him so easy an opportunity of pleasing!