A hidden nerve is what every writer is ultimately about. It’s what all writers wish to uncover when writing about themselves in this age of the personal memoir. And yet it’s also the first thing every writer learns to sidestep, to disguise, as though this nerve were a deep and shameful secret that needs to be swathed in many sheaths.
Andre’ Achman – A Literary Pilgrim Progresses to the Past, NYT, 8-28-2000

Writers the most learned, the most accurate in details, and the soundest in tendency, frequently fall into a habit which can neither be cured nor pardoned,—the habit of making history into the proof of their theories.
Lord Acton (1834-1902) History of Freedom and Other Essays, Ch 8, (1907)

A true critic ought to dwell rather upon excellencies than imperfections, to discover the concealed beauties of a writer, and communicate to the world such things as are worth their observation.
Joseph Addison (1672-1719) – The Spectator (1711-12), No. 291 February 2, 1712.

Good books, like good friends, are few and chosen; the more select, the more enjoyable.
A. Bronson Alcott (1799-1888)Quoted in Solace and Companionship of Books, ed. A. Ireland, London, 1883, p. 265.

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