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Make the reader THINK the evil

May 3, 2011

“Only make the reader’s general vision of evil intense enough… and his own experience, his own sympathy… and horror… will supply him quite sufficiently with all the particulars. Make him think the evil, make him think it for himself, and you are released from weak specifications.”

xxi The Art of the Novel, prefaces by Henry James (I confess… I’d need to do some major footwork for more of this reference – just enjoy its sentiment!)

Back to business, though… How does this idea compare to The Fat Man (or any of Maurice Gee’s villains, for that matter – he has a self-confessed fascination with the darkside of human nature) … in the context of Bill Manhire’s comment on Maurice Gee’s children’s characters…?

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