Although the Poet and the Blind Man did not have the same sensory access to the real outside them, that is, the material continuum in all its incalculable variations, nevertheless, they were for a while able to act in a way that satisfied their immediate concerns. The fact that the coincidence of perspectives was strictly incomplete did not prevent an agreement being reached which appeared to satisfy current interest. That is not surprising, because attention of its very nature is selective, and, if what is selected by two or more persons serves that particular interest, it does not matter for that moment that it may not satisfy some other interest. Through further experience, when the relevance of other issues is to the fore, those differences may become salient to one or other of them. Emma and Mr Elton were both happy to think they had reached the same understanding when talking of ‘the riddle’ about courtship, but the scene in the carriage later in their narrative was to prove it otherwise.
KeywordsCorn Sludge Steam Shale Smoke
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