This week, she had this:
One of the great temptations of young writers is to believe that all the people in the subdivision in which he grew up were fools and hypocrites in need of blasting or instruction. As he matures, the writer will come to realize, with luck, that the people he scorned had important virtues, that they had better heads and hearts than he knew. The desire to show people proper beliefs and attitudes is inimical to the noblest impulses of fiction."
--John Gardner, "The Writer's Nature" in On Becoming a Novelist (Harper Colophon Books, 1983)
It reminds me of something Garrison Keillor said a long time ago (and I can't find the actual quote ... arrrghhh .... ) It was along the lines of thinking, when he was young, that old people were always saying stupid things -- but, as he aged and saw beauty in something he had once ridiculed, he said, "Now I see that the stupid people were right."