Friday, April 16, 2010

A Beautiful Necessity

"What I know about writing I know from having read the work of the great writers." So says Richard Bausch in The Atlantic, regarding his one foray into contributing to an ill-fated how to collection of essays in which his work was unceremoniously left out.

I think the impulse to offer how to advice is as much out of reminding oneself how it is done, as a form of practice; if someone finds it useful, so much the better. What I like in Bausch's attitude is that he makes explicit what I assume, in my good nature or goodwill, is everyone's motivation. Of course this is naive. I suspect there are millions of people for whom writing is not derived from "a kind of beautiful necessity."

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