"Arnold Baffin is a fluent writer. He is a prolific writer. It may well be this facility which is his own worst enemy. It is a quality which can be mistaken for imagination. And if the artist himself so mistakes it he is doomed. The writer who is facile needs, to become a writer of any merit, quality about all; and that is courage: the courage to destroy, the courage to wait."
This quote is from Bradley Pearson's review of Arnold Baffin's latest novel, which is printed in the middle of Part One. The quote highlights Bradley's and Arnold's differing opinions about the nature of art. Bradley tends to be a snob, believing that only carefully constructed books can truly be considered art. Arnold, on the other hand, believes in quickly producing novels and trying to improve the failures of previous ones by writing more. The debate on the artistry of novels relates closely to Iris Murdoch since her own frequently were criticized for being too quickly produced and being artistically immature. Murdoch, like Arnold Baffin, often produced as much as one novel per year. Her detailed exposure of Bradley's review, produces a subtle and comic self- referencing critique of herself.