Some while ago I was asked to write about (Richard) Russo’s novel Empire Falls and a novel by Jonathan Franzen called The Corrections, which is steeped in hatred for the middle-class from which Franzen derived. The comparison between the two novels reminded me of an essay Matthew Arnold wrote about the difference between Anna Karenina and Madame Bovary, which was that Tolstoy, the larger-hearted man, came to love his heroine and Flaubert never veered from his loathing for his. A good heart remains the first requisite for a great novelist.
So true, so true. It's also a first requisite for great teachers, I've noticed. And for most other worthy endeavors.