1 - PREFACE / સરસ્વતીચંદ્ર - ૧ / ગોવર્ધનરામ ત્રિપાઠી

      Novels have in these days become an universal luxury and in competing for public interest have succeeded to an extent almost unrivalled. The very natural result has been that the bulls of fiction in the West has ceased to aspire beyond an artistic display of such of the sentimental and emotional idiosyncrasies of mankind as happen to tickle the fancy of the ordinary reader. It is however certain – and the higher class of novelists never fail to recognize and claim - that the functions of the novel are more numerous, higher, and more sacred than the mere pandering to the taste of the novel-reading public.

      The writer of these pages admits that the origin of his undertaking was in the first instance neither so ordinary nor so ambitious. Like all who live and look around, he had his memoranda of what may be called the substrata. of this our world of human affairs. When he first desired to give an objective existence to all that was so sketched out in his mind's book, he intended to give it the form of essays. Second thoughts discovered that the reading class in Gujarat were, for various reasons, difficult to reach through abstruse or discursive matter, and that illustrations of real or ideal life would be the best medium, best in the ` sense of being attractive and impressive, for communications like those which the writer has to make. Hence the present contribution.

      The conviction has also grown upon him that reality in flesh and blood under the guise of fiction can supply the ordinary reader with subtler moulds and finer casts for the formation of his inner self than abstract discussions and that this is especially so with a people who must be made, and not simply left, to read.

      It remains to note that by inducing reality under fiction it is not meant to convey any personal allusion whatever in any part or even a line, of the book. The actualities of life or locality are referred to only and strictly so far as they belong to any of the varied conditions of life amongst, our people. And even these are on occasions ideal. The ideal and the actual are in some places inseparable

April, 1887 
G. M. T.


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