Quotation by Ralph Waldo Emerson

Society is the stage on which manners are shown; novels are the literature. Novels are the journal or record of manners; and the new importance of these books derives from the fact, that the novelist begins to penetrate the surface, and treat this part of life more worthily.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Behavior," The Conduct of Life (1860).
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