Page:The Craftsmanship of Writing.djvu/108

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by any chance may actuate a writer the most mistaken purpose and the one most destructive to good art is that of forcibly bringing people over to think as he does by a deliberate and conscienceless distortion of life as we see it around us. There was not merely a degree of grotesqueness in the old-fashioned Sunday-school story of the good little boy who had plum pudding and the bad little boy who went fishing and was drowned. There was an immorality about it as well, the immorality that always attaches to a deliberate perversion of our experiences of life. And the same immorality attaches to any novelist who takes upon himself the privilege of the Deity and says "Vengeance is mine," forgetful of the fact that in this world at least rewards and punishments of human acts are meted out quite inexorably in accordance with the laws of nature.

Having digressed to this extent upon