... should one sit down to paint the scenes among which he has grown, he will find that the facts creep in upon him. Those brilliant phases and shapes which the imagination sees in far-off lands are not for him to portray. Sadly he must squeeze the colour from his brush, and dip it into the grey pigments around him. He must paint what lies before him.
Olive Schreiner (1855–1920), South African author. The Story of an African Farm, Preface (1883).
On why her semi-autobiographical novel, which was about South African farm life, dealt with relatively homely situations rather than "wild adventure," as one critic had suggested it should. Schreiner wrote under the pseudonym "Ralph Iron."