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                                                          On Writing

From a February 17, 1959 letter:

The cliche is that writing is lonely work, but unlike so many cliches, it happens to be an incomplete truth; when you are working well you are not lonely. How could you be? The time-wasters, exterior and of your own invention, are always available, but art is not...And don't forget that time-wasting is often justified under the heading of work...

Except for Ernest Hemingway, who is unique, I do not believe that American authors should waste their time in writing novels about foreigners in foreign lands. I do not believe that any American (Hemingway included) is ever anything but a foreigner; it is impossible for anyone to master a foreign language even in speaking, and I am now referring to linguists, not to authors...It is therefore impossible for a much less accomplished linguist, an author, to appear before a Frenchman or an Italian as anything but a foreigner. Likewise an American who attempts to steep himself in a foreign culture is forcing it, and that will tell...

...write what you know about.

Selected Letters, pages 289-290

On February 17, 1929, a one shot column on jazz, "Saxophonic Fever, appeared in the Sunday New York Herald-Tribune. Matthew Bruccoli'sThe O'Hara Concern, page 69.

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