The voice of America has no undertones or overtones in it. It repeats its optimistic catchwords in a tireless monologue that has the slightly metallic sound of a gramophone.
It is the business of thought to define things, to find the boundaries; thought, indeed, is a ceaseless process of definition. It is the business of Art to give things shape. Anyone who takes no delight in the firm outline of an object, or in its essential character, has no artistic sense. He cannot even be nourished by Art. Like Ephraim, he feeds upon the East wind, which has no boundaries.
The truth is that literature, particularly fiction, is not the pure medium we sometimes assume it to be. Response to it is affected by things other than its own intrinsic quality; by a curiosity or lack of it about the people it deals with, their outlook, their way of life.