Writer Tip c. 1960

After class I was chillin’ with my bro, aka Campus Library, when I found an aisle with rows upon rows of writing/literature books sporting a nice undisturbed layer of dust. (It’s like finding buried treasure —  I’m guaranteed to find pages upon which not one pair of eyes of my fellow 50,000+ students had rested in who knows how long. And I like blowing the dust off of my selections like I’m in a haunted house.)

I sifted through titles for publication dates from before my birth to hang out with a generation I could never meet.

The Art of Writing by Andre Maurois (1960)

None of the hardback books had dustjackets (HA!) so I needed to read the intro, forward or first chapter to get an idea of what they’re really about. After taking and replacing a few, I grabbed The Art of Writing. The first chapter initially touched on the writer, followed by the writer’s craft.

According to Mr. Maurois, perfection of craft aside, a writer must have this one thing to be great.

The One Thing: “A great philosophy

I grinned alone in my aisle as if passed a note containing an inside joke because I don’t think any modern writing book had ever told me that (if one had, it hadn’t struck me in the same way). Shutting the book, I considered the Crayon orange cover, pleased with having met Mr. Maurois (1885-1967) even if it’s only his paper remains.

Me: (aloud, bad habit) “I like you, sir. Let’s hang out later.”

4 thoughts on “Writer Tip c. 1960

    • Duri Rolvsson says:

      Andre Maurois wrote a bunch of books (novels, biographies, histories and children’s books) — he was a busy guy. (I don’t know if there are translations for all his works from the original French.) In his biographies, he documented the lives of people like Lord Byron and Victor Hugo, with his most well known biographical piece being “À la Recherche de Marcel Proust” (1949; The Quest for Proust).

      Some of his other works: An Art of Living (1939), The Silence of Colonel Bramble (1918), Bernard Quesnay (1926), and Neither Angel, Nor Beast.


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