“The art of writing is a living business,”
Declares Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch in the Preface to this classic. “Literature is not a mere science, to be studied; but an art, to be practiced. Great as is our own literature, we must consider it as a legacy to be improved . . . if we persist in striving to write well, we can easily resign to other nations all the secondary fame.”
Also the source of the famous quote used by editors, “Murder your darlings.”
Renowned as a critic, teacher, and educational reformer, Quiller-Couch delivered a series of lectures at the University of Cambridge in 1913-14. His subjects–the artistic and vital nature of language as well as the skills needed to convey and receive the written word–remain as timeless as his advice. This book contains the eminent scholar’s remarks from those lectures on the practice of writing, the difference between verse and prose, the use of jargon, the history of English literature, the ways in which English literature is taught at the university, and the importance of style. The principles and practical guidelines he sets forth in this volume offer aspiring writers an enduring source of guidance.
Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch (21 November 1863 – 12 May 1944) was a British writer who often published under the pen name of Q. A novelist and poet who was also a Professor of English, he helped to form the literary tastes of generations of literary students and scholars who came after him. He is primarily remembered for the monumental Oxford Book Of English Verse 1250–1900 (later extended to 1918), and for his literary criticism.
Every writer should have this book as reference and inspiration.
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