Victims of Truth.
“It's the unexpected that always should happen. If you are told that a man fell out of a seventh-storey window to the footpath you accept it as a natural thing to do these days. But if you are assured that a man fell from the footpath to a seventh-storey window you are amazed, amused and incredulously credulous. Now just imagine what a dull world it would be if we were all the victims of truth. Fishing, golfing and horse-racing would die of perfidious anaemia. And how would novelists make an honest living with nothing to fall back on except dull truth? As things are, the broken-hearted heroine twangs ‘the heart bowed down’ on your soul-strings when she sobs to her playboy
“Iva B. Squint offered Guy Fawkes half a million dollars.”
spouserino, ‘Oh, Basil, why did you have to do-hoo this thing to me. Something has di-hied in my heart.’ To make such a passage conform to the vicissitudes of fact she would have to snap, ‘You miserable little lounge-hound; I'll break your head-lights if I see you lamping that skinny little permanent-waver again. Believe me, Basil-boy, there'll be something limp found on your doorstep if you don't mind your sequeeze and cues.’ No sir; it would never do to reproach art with the stain of certitude—or words to that effect. And who'd go to the pictures if they weren't so durned unnatural that they make reality look as colourless as a blameless life. What would be the use of them if they didn't make you feel what a devil you could be if only you could be a devil? My objection to history is that it hasn't moved with the times. William the Conk, frinstance, did his stuff at Hastings in ten-sixty-six and not a thing has been done about it since. Can you imagine anything more monotonous?