Notes on Writing

“You are right in demanding that an artist should take an intelligent attitude to his work, but you confuse two things: solving a problem and stating a problem correctly. It is only the second that is obligatory for the artist. In “Anna Karenin” and “Evgeny Onyegin” not a single problem is solved, but they satisfy you completely because all the problems are correctly stated in them. It is the business of the judge to put the right questions, but the answers must be given by the jury according to their own lights” ~ A. Checkhov (1888) in a letter to writer and publisher A. S. Suvorin /quoted in Francine Prose’s “Reading Like a Writer” (2006).

– Thanks to S. Campbell for sharing this brilliant piece during our meeting this morning.

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