Thursday, November 02, 2006

Too True

One of the things I fear if I were ever lucky enough to publish:

"You said, Mother, that criticism would help me. But how can
it, when it's so contradictory that I don't know whether I've written
a promising book or broken all the ten commandments?" cried poor
Jo, turning over a heap of notices, the perusal of which filled her
with pride and joy one minute, wrath and dismay the next. "This
man says, `An exquisite book, full of truth, beauty, and earnestness.
All is sweet, pure, and healthy.'" continued the perplexed
authoress. "The next, `The theory of the book is bad, full of
morbid fancies, spiritualistic ideas, and unnatural characters.'
Now, as I had no theory of any kind, don't believe in Spiritualism,
and copied my characters from life, I don't see how this critic can
be right. Another says, `It's one of the best American novels which
has appeared for years.' (I know better than that), and the next
asserts that `Though it is original, and written with great force
and feeling, it is a dangerous book.' 'Tisn't! Some make fun of it,
some overpraise, and nearly all insist that I had a deep theory to
expound, when I only wrote it for the pleasure and the money. I
wish I'd printed the whole or not at all, for I do hate to be so

--Little Women, via The Literature Network

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