Saturday, July 07, 2007

How 2 Rite Gud

Those of you who know me know I have little use for professional literary critics. Over my desk is a little phrase I came up with: Better the world's worst artist than the world's best critic.

I also like Fred Allen's line to them: Where were you when the page was blank?

All writers stand on the shoulders of those who went before, but literary critics in particular are like remoras -- they don't have a shark to leech onto, they got nothin', and when they do find a free ride, they don't give it anything in return.

Critics -- roll 'em in flour and deep-fat fry 'em ...

Unless of course, you are a better writer than your subject. Such as Mark Twain was when wrote the essay "Fenimore Cooper's Literary Offenses."

Aside from being the funniest piece of writing in the English language, it also contains Twain's rules of writing, which are as valid now as they were when he put them down.

Go read it, and learn from a master of the art and craft.

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