Classic articles on writing art some of the most interesting and telling works by past authors. Here you will find articles from the past by authors that range from the famous to the obscure.

Essay On the Art of Fiction by Willa Cather

Essay On the Art of Fiction by Willa Cather

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On the Art of Fiction One is sometimes asked about the “obstacles” that confront young writers who are trying to do good work. I should say the greatest obstacles that…
Fenimore Cooper Sucks at Writing by Mark Twain

Fenimore Cooper Sucks at Writing by Mark Twain

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by Mark Twain   It seems to me that it was far from right for the Professor of English Literature in Yale, the Professor of English Literature in Columbia, and…
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THE POETIC PRINCIPLE by Edgar Allan Poe

THE POETIC PRINCIPLE by Edgar Allan Poe

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Edgar Allan Poe (1809-49) was born in Boston, the child of actors who died while he was very young. He was adopted by a Virginian gentleman, Mr. John Allan,
I Am Not An Animal Expert! by Jack London

I Am Not An Animal Expert! by Jack London

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by Jack London This is one of our historical articles from writers that we just had to publish. Jack London, one of our most beloved American writer's seems to have…
Shakespeare Sucks! by Leo Tolstoy

Shakespeare Sucks! by Leo Tolstoy

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(or Shakespeare not a Great Genius) I remember the astonishment I felt when I first read Shakespeare. I expected to receive a powerful esthetic pleasure, but having read, one after…
Walt Whitman on the Significance of Edgar Allan Poe

Walt Whitman on the Significance of Edgar Allan Poe

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n diagnosing this disease called humanity—to assume for the nonce what seems a chief mood of the personality and writings of my subject
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Interview with Mark Twain

Interview with Mark Twain

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This interview is from Hartford Daily Courant from May 30th 1888. Twain would have been 53 years old. He had just finished a new book. A reporter for THE COURANT…
Mark Twain on First Getting Published (1906)

Mark Twain on First Getting Published (1906)

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My experiences as an author began early in 1867. I came to New York from San Francisco in the first month of that year and presently Charles H. Webb, whom…
What does it mean to be a poet? by William Wordsworth

What does it mean to be a poet? by William Wordsworth

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Born in 1770; died in 1850; graduated from Cambridge in 1791; traveled on the Continent in 1790-92; settled at Grasmere in 1799; married Mary Hutchinson in 1802; settled at Rydal Mount in 1813; traveled in Scotland
Oscar Wilde

When I Met Oscar Oscar Wilde by W. B. Yeats

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 by W. B. Yeats My first meeting with Oscar Wilde was an astonishment. I never before heard a man talking with perfect sentences, as if he had written them all…
Mark Twain’s Letter to Mrs. Grover Cleveland

Mark Twain’s Letter to Mrs. Grover Cleveland

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To Mrs. Grover Cleveland, in Washington: Hartford, Nov.  6, 1887. My Dear Madam,—I do not know how it is in the White House, but in this house of ours whenever…
Of Ambition by Francis Bacon

Of Ambition by Francis Bacon

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by Francis Bacon AMBITION is like choler; which is an humor that maketh men active, earnest, full of alacrity, and stirring, if it be not stopped. But if it be…
A College Magazine by Robert Louis Stevenson

A College Magazine by Robert Louis Stevenson

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A College Magazine by Robert Louis Stevenson I All through my boyhood and youth, I was known and pointed out for the pattern of an idler; and yet I was…
France by Gertrude Stein

France by Gertrude Stein

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Likely and more than evenly, unevenly and not unlikely, very much that and anyway more, this is the left over method. There is nothing left because if it were left…
About War Poetry by George Herbert Clarke (1917)

About War Poetry by George Herbert Clarke (1917)

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by George Herbert Clarke (1917) Because man is both militant and pacific, he has expressed in literature, as indeed in the other forms of art, his pacific and militant moods.…
Of Love by Francis Bacon

Of Love by Francis Bacon

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THE stage is more beholding to love, than the life of man. For as to the stage, love is ever matter of comedies, and now and then of tragedies; but…
OLD POETS by Walt Whitman

OLD POETS by Walt Whitman

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Poetry (I am clear) is eligible of something far more ripen'd and ample, our lands and pending days, than it has yet produced from any utterance old or new. Modern…
THE WRITER HIMSELF by Robert Saunders Dowst

THE WRITER HIMSELF by Robert Saunders Dowst

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 by Robert Saunders Dowst Critical Faculty—Cultivation of Genius—Observation and Information—Open-mindedness—Attitude Toward Life—Prejudice and Provincialism—The Social Question—Reading—Imagination. Accessible as are the data of the fiction writer, the facts and possibilities of…
Talking About Realism by Robert Louis Stevenson

Talking About Realism by Robert Louis Stevenson

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 by Robert Louis Stevenson Style is the invariable mark of any master; and for the student who does not aspire so high as to be numbered with the giants, it…
Book, Authors, and Hats by Mark Twain

Book, Authors, and Hats by Mark Twain

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by Mark Twain           ADDRESS AT THE PILGRIMS' CLUB LUNCHEON, GIVEN IN HONOR OF Mr.           CLEMENS AT THE SAVOY HOTEL, LONDON, JUNE 25, 1907.           Mr. Birrell, M.P., Chief-Secretary…
Fox-women by Elliott O’Donnell

Fox-women by Elliott O’Donnell

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an excerpt from Byways of Ghost-Land 1911  by Elliott O'Donnell Very different from this were-wolf, though also belonging to the great family of elementals, are the fox-women of Japan and…
The Beginning of My Youth by Leo Tolstoy

The Beginning of My Youth by Leo Tolstoy

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  I have said that my friendship with Dimitri opened up for me a new view of my life and of its aim and relations. The essence of that view…
Why The Blind Man in Ancient Times was Made a Poet by William B. Yeats

Why The Blind Man in Ancient Times was Made a Poet by William B. Yeats

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 by William B. Yeats A description in the Iliad or the Odyssey, unlike one in the Æneid or in most modern writers, is the swift and natural observation of a…
How Shakspere Came to Write the ‘Tempest’ by Rudyard Kipling

How Shakspere Came to Write the ‘Tempest’ by Rudyard Kipling

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To the Editor of the Spectator. SIR:—Your article on ‘Landscape and Literature’ in the Spectator of June 18th has the following, among other suggestive passages:—“But whence came the vision of…