THE ESSENCE OF EXPERIENCE:
Godden, Winslow, Wickenden
"With each new happening, perhaps with each person we meet if they are important to us, we must either be born again, or die a little bit; big deaths and little ones, big and little births."
--Captain John in The River by Rumer Godden
One of the delights of fiction is its infinite variety. No one need fast where such an ample feast is spread. There is a dish for every taste. Those who care to can sup on horrors; but those who long since were surfeited with such strong meat can dine on more delicate fare.
Contemporary novelists are all citizens of the same unhappy world. When the winds of wrath blow up a tempest in Korea, Cambodia, Iran or the Potsdamer Platz they all shiver with equal apprehension. Whatever their nationality, their philosophy or their metabolism, they walk in the dark beside the same haunted graveyard. Some try to exercise their fears with shouts of fierce defiance. Some, and they are a select and superior company, choose to speak in a quiet voice about less horrendous matters, the timeless truths of character and experience which are always the same, yesterday, today and tomorrow.