He had no wish to obliterate anything he had written, but he would dearly have liked to revise it, envying painters, who are allowed to return to the same theme time and time again, clarifying and enriching until they have done all they can with it. A novelist is condemned to provide a succession of novelties, new names for characters, new incidents for his plots, new scenery; but; Mr Pinfold maintained, most men harbour the germs of one or two books only; all else is professional trickery of which the most daemonic of the masters - Dickens and Balzac even - were flagrantly guilty. The Ordeal of Gilbert Pinfold (1957), page 122
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