‘I am not interested in the maudlin menstrual musings of housewives so distant on tinctures and tablets that the words they use fairly float off the page with disconcerting disjointedness. If you seek a simpering companion who will nod and give you sorrowful glances, obtain a dog. If I wish to, I can find all I need of that tiresome tat in the nearest bookstore though it be not worthy of the name, where an offensively facile stack is always ready at hand for an outrageous sum, the contents considered. I am similarly disinterested in reading the mouldy ruminations of some self-reproachful liberals who find validation in flagellating their inner guilt in the public arena – self loathing does not make an attractive display – bake that illcake at home and store in larders unseen but do not think it is for everyone’s tastes. And for those who like the flavour, shame on you and the pox on your house and that of your club of bookish friends, no less. Just as weak and derivative, the forced and fake literary strutting of new young bucks who take all pleasure in their prowess as bright young things, an opportunity afforded by the dire lack of good works which would elsewise make the decent grade. In the absence of real writers, the mill must publish what it can. And it does, oh does it ever. Hormonal love-longings, metaphysical mumbo-jumbo, bloodless thrillers, sauceless tempests, vapidly mumbled masquerades, tatty jigsaw-histories, badly-drawn biographies licked slick with greed and malice, fallow yarns of town and country, not a word capable of standing on its own between the sallow page. No, I will not eat at this table, for the fare leaves me hungrier still.’
- Ambrose Bierce in ‘Write It Right’, 1909
Damn right. What a legend.