Thursday, July 17, 2008

On writing for the Trends

I finished Strunk and White's Elements of Style this morning. As you may know E. B. White is a master writer, most famous for Charlotte's Web. White concluded my reading lighting up a dark temptation. His reminder is to writers specifically and, I add, to saints in general:

It is now necessary to warn the writer that his concern for the reader must be pure: he must sympathize with the reader's plight... but never seek to know his wants. The whole duty of a writer is to please and satisfy himself, and the true writer always plays to an audience of one. Let him start sniffing the air, or glancing at the Trend Machine, and he is as good as dead, although he may make a nice living.


A.T. Stowell said...

A bulls-eye...further comment is superfluous...though I can't resist.

Slavish devotion to trends is the death of originality.