Must Novels Be Profound Or Merely Diverting?

(Tukko) "I had thought you preferred novels for relaxation." (Sethra) "Sometimes. But then, I judge a novel more harshly." "Do you? Why is that?" "Because history is able to rely upon the truth, of course. A novel, in which all is created by the author's whim, must strike a more profound level of truth or it is worthless." "And yet, I have heard you say that any novel that relieves your ennui for an hour has proved its usefulness."

source: Steven Brust, Sethra Lavode, 124 tags: Reading, History