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How to Write Powerful Prose by F. L. Lucas

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How to Write Powerful Prose

WHEN IT WAS suggested to Walt Whitman that one of his works should be bound in vellum, he was outraged – “Pshaw!” he snorted, “ – hangings, curtains, finger bowls, chinaware, Matthew Arnold!” And he might have been equally irritated by talk of style; for he boasted of “my barbaric yawp” – he would not be literary; his readers should touch not a book but a man. Yet Whitman took the pains to rewrite Leaves of Grass four times and his style is unmistakable. Samuel Butler maintained that writers who bothered about their style became unreadable but he bothered about his own. “Style” has got a bad name by growing associated with precious and superior persons who, like Oscar Wilde, spend a morning putting in a comma, and ...

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