Literature

The Crusade Against Beauty

I HAVE BEEN LEARNING TO WRITE for something like forty-five years. I say “learning to write” because writers never cease to learn their craft, and with each small extra discovery, even at my advanced age, the excitement of one’s first fatal step is rekindled. And should the excitement ever die it will be time to quit writing. Rainer Maria Rilke put it more beautifully than I can: “Ah! But verses amount to so little when one begins to write them young. One ought to wait and gather sense and sweetness a whole life long, and a long life if possible,…

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