Saturday, March 24, 2012

Literary magpie …

… Robert Burton | The Anatomy of Melancholy | Digressions on a Diagnosis | Masterpiece by Danny Heitman - (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Casting his prolixity as a virtue, Mr. Burton quotes Seneca: "When you see a fellow careful about his words, and neat in his speech, know this for a certainty, that man's mind is busied about toys, there's no solidity in him." At another point, he waves off any aspirations to popular appeal: "I resolve, if you like not my writing, go read something else." Paradoxically, Mr. Burton's deaf ear to the rules of literary endearment becomes a form of endearment in itself.

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