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Classic Articles on Writing - page 2

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.

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Robert Louis Stevenson on Style in Literature

“On Some Technical Elements of Style in Literature” from The Art of Writing and Other Essays by Robert Louis Stevenson There is nothing more disenchanting to man than to be shown the springs and mechanism of any art.  All our arts and occupations lie wholly on the surface; it is on the surface that we… Keep Reading

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The Poet an Essay by Ralph Waldo Emerson

A moody child and wildly wise Pursued the game with joyful eyes, Which chose, like meteors, their way, And rived the dark with private ray: They overleapt the horizon’s edge, Searched with Apollo’s privilege; Through man, and woman, and sea, and star Saw the dance of nature forward far; Through worlds, and races, and terms,… Keep Reading

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LITERARY JOURNALS 1881

Here is section on literary journal from the book Curiosities of Literature by Isaac Disraeli  The earl of Beaconsfield. The book was published in 1881. We thought it might be interesting to get a 100 year old take on the state and purpose of literary journals. LITERARY JOURNALS. When writers were not numerous, and readers… Keep Reading

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What I think of Henry James by Joseph Conrad (1905)

The critical faculty hesitates before the magnitude of Mr. Henry James’s work.  His books stand on my shelves in a place whose accessibility proclaims the habit of frequent communion.  But not all his books.  There is no collected edition to date, such as some of “our masters” have been provided with; no neat rows of… Keep Reading

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In Defence of Poetry by Percy Bysshe Shelley

IN DEFENSE OF POETRY from The Best of the World’s Classics 1909. The functions of the poetical faculty are twofold; by one it creates new materials of knowledge, and power, and pleasure; by the other it engenders in the mind a desire to Poetry is indeed something divine. It is at once the center and… Keep Reading

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The Madness VOLTAIRE by JOHN MORLEY

JOHN MORLEY by Born in 1838; graduated from Oxford in 1859; editor of the Fortnightly Review in 1867, and of The Pall Mall Gazette in 1880; elected to Parliament in 1883; made Chief Secretary for Ireland in 1886, and again in 1892; made Secretary for India in 1906; published "Edmund Burke" in 1867; "Voltaire" in 1872; "Rousseau" in 1876; a "Life of Richard Cobden" in 1881; and a "Life of Gladstone" in 1904. Keep Reading

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Essay On the Art of Fiction by Willa Cather

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 writers today have to get over, are the dazzling journalistic successes of twenty years ago, stories that surprised and delighted by their sharp photographic detail… Keep Reading

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Mark Twain on First Getting Published (1906)

Mark Twain on First Getting Published (1906) 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 I had known in San Francisco as a reporter on The Bulletin, and afterward editor of The Californian,… Keep Reading

“I have not read this author’s books, and if I have read them I have forgotten what they were about.”
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Advice on Writing a Novel by Joseph Conrad

Advice on Writing a Novel by Joseph Conrad “I have not read this author’s books, and if I have read them I have forgotten what they were about.” These words are reported as having been uttered in our midst not a hundred years ago, publicly, from the seat of justice, by a civic magistrate.  The… Keep Reading

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Fenimore Cooper Sucks at Writing by Mark Twain

Fenimore Cooper Sucks at Writing 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 Wilkie Collins to deliver opinions on Cooper’s literature without having read some of it. It would have been much more… Keep Reading

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POETRY TO-DAY IN AMERICA by Walt Whitman

POETRY TO-DAY IN AMERICA SHAKSPERE—THE FUTURE by Walt Whitman Strange as it may seem, the topmost proof of a race is its own born poetry. The presence of that, or the absence, each tells its story. As the flowering rose or lily, as the ripened fruit to a tree, the apple or the peach, no… Keep Reading

my first typewriter sucked! by mark twain
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My First Typewriter Sucked by Mark Twain

THE FIRST WRITING-MACHINES (From My Unpublished Autobiography) by Mark Twain   Some days ago a correspondent sent in an old typewritten sheet, faded by age, containing the following letter over the signature of Mark Twain: “Hartford, March 10, 1875. “Please do not use my name in any way. Please do not even divulge that fact… Keep Reading

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On the Decay of the Art of Lying by Mark Twain

On the Decay of the Art of Lying  by Mark Twain An Essay for Discussion, read at a meeting of the historical and Antiquarian Club of Hartford, and offered for the Thirty-Dollar Prize. Now First Published [Did not take the prize] Observe, I do not mean to suggest that the custom of lying has suffered… Keep Reading

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I Am Not An Animal Expert! by Jack London

I Am Not An Animal Expert! 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 shared the modern day views of the media. Apparently news people of his day mixed London up with either… Keep Reading

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