From Julian Barnes’ Flaubert’s Parrot, on the subject of Flaubert’s work not promoting positive virtues, in the form of a trial for obscenity:
Is this book sexy? M’Lud, we bloody well hope so. Does it encourage adultery and attack marriage? Spot on, M’Lud, that’s exactly what my client is trying to do. Is this book blasphemous? For Christ’s sake, M’Lud, the matter’s as clear as the loincloth on the Crusifixion. Put it this way, M’Lud: my client thinks that most of the values of the society in which he lives stink, and he hopes with this book to promote fornication, masturbation, adultery, the stoning of priests and, since we’ve temporarily got your attention, M’Lud, the suspension of corrupt judges by their earlobes. The defence rests its case.