Oil on Canvas - 1913
George Ogilvy Reed
Indeed there has been a curious irony in this respect about the modern artists, especially the literary artists. Half the outcry against them arose, rightly or wrongly, because they insisted that their books must be repulsive in order to be realistic or sordid in order to be true. They insisted on a free hand in describing sex; and seemed to assume, in their own apologia, that to describe sex is to describe sin – and sorrow. They insisted that anything pretty must be a pretence; and never saw how sharply they were reflecting on the end of that very dance of pretty nymphs and cupids, which had brought them the licence that they liked best. In short, they seemed to make two claims; first to be free to find the perfect happiness of passion; and second, to be free to describe how exceedingly unhappy it is.
--G.K. Chesterton, Robert Louis Stevenson