Oh, W. D. Howells. If only you were right.

Reasons to support the humanities, number eleventy-trillion:

“You have often said that the novel is a perspective,” observed the other man. [Note: Stephen Crane, who was interviewing Howells.]

“A perspective–certainly.  It is a perspective made for the benefit of people who have no true use of their eyes.  The novel, in its real meaning, adjusts the proportions. It preserves the balances.  It is in this way that lessons are to be taught and reforms to be won.  When people are introduced to each other, they will see the resemblances, and won’t want to fight so badly.”

from “Howells Fears Realists Must Wait”