Another Word About Realism

— Realism in literature can never be on exactly the same footing with realism in pictorial art. The painter must strive to paint merely what the tree suggests to him, because, not being a tree himself, he cannot impart his own conception to his work, lest that conception detract from the truth to nature of the pictured tree. The intangible quality which the really great artist puts into his painted landscape, the indication of something besides material substance, is due to his perception that God is beside or behind or immanent in the trees and the water and the sky. In literature it is different; a writer portrays a man, and though he may have in mind some particular person whose main characteristics he follows, he may dare not only to hint of the Divine Essence which dwells within the human creature, but to add some peculiarity of his own individuality, since he also is a man, and his soul is not alien to his subject.