Is the novel is for reference and the play for public consumption?
The novel and play are both pleasing intellectual exercises but the novel is inferior to the play because it lacks the outward accidents of illusion, frequently inducing the reader to be outwitted in a shabby fashion through experiencing a real concern for the fortunes of illusory characters. The play was consumed in wholesome fashion by large masses in public places whereas the novel was consumed in private. The novel, in the hands of an unscrupulous writer, could be despotic. A satisfactory novel should be a self evident sham to which the reader could regulate at will the degree of his credulity. It was undemocratic to render characters uniformly good or bad or poor or rich. Each should be allowed a private life, self determination and a decent standard of living, ensuring self respect and contentment. Characters should be interchangeable as between one book and another. The entire repository of existing literature should be regarded as a limbo from which discerning authors should draw their characters as required, creating anew only when they failed to find a suitable existing puppet.
The modern novel should be largely a work of reference. Most authors spend their time saying what has been said before – usually said much better. A wealth of references to existing works would acquaint the reader instantaneously with the nature of each character, obviating tiresome explanations and would effectively preclude mountebanks, upstarts and persons of inferior education form an understanding of contemporary literature.