The reader is always faced with the question of what a particular gesture, a particular detail means. It is not enough to say that it need not mean anything because it simply is. The meaningless accumulation of accurately observed detail cannot satisfy us for long; only if the details are made to tell, only if they are weighted with a significance for the lives shown, will they be tolerable.

Hard and fast rules, a priori restrictions, mere interdictions (you shall not speak of this, you shall not look at that) have surely served their time, and will in the nature of the case never strike an energetic talent as anything but arbitrary. A healthy, living and growing art, full of curiosity and fond of exercise, has an indefeasible mistrust of rigid prohibitions.