Still, no stodgy codger he. Barzun merely asks that you "have a point and make it by means of the best word." If that means splitting an infinitive or substituting a "which" for a "that," so be it. Just be sure that the decision to do so is conscious and informed. Once you've found the right word, you can move on to writing sentences and then leaning them against one another until they form paragraphs. Only when you've gotten it all down, says Barzun, should you allow yourself the pleasure of revision. "Unlike the sculptor," he says, "the writer can start carving and enjoying himself only after he has dug the marble out of his own head." --Jane Steinberg --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
Born in France in 1907, Jacques Barzun came to the United States in 1920. After graduating from Columbia College, he joined the faculty of the university, becoming Seth Low Professor of History and, for a decade, Dean of Faculties and Provost. The author of some thirty books, including the New York Times bestseller From Dawn to Decadence, he received the Gold Medal for Criticism from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, of which he was twice president. He lived in San Antonio, Texas, before passing away at age 104.
A practical guide to writing well. It will help anyone get on the right track.Published 1 month ago by Emily
Many textbooks that are written about how to improve your writing, insist that the reader memorize a long list of "Rules" to be memorized and practiced, in order to become... Read morePublished 16 months ago by Don Burger
There were some items that I could take away from reading this book from cover to cover. This was a 'should read' in another book. Read morePublished 21 months ago by James E. Oloughlin
I was hoping to use this to teach writing in English. However, it was mostly a book to read about "how" with few exercises or useful tools to use. Read morePublished 21 months ago by AUDREY MALE
I have ordered two copies of this book. Both have had pages significantly out of order (the "first" page is actually 146, and the table of contents turns up half way through the... Read morePublished 22 months ago by JW
This book was extremely disappointing. Barzun suggests some writing essentials that I (and most well-educated people, I would assume) learned when I was pretty young. Read morePublished on May 3, 2011 by SDB
"Simple & Direct" had a major influence on my becoming a technical writer. It is an attack on incorrect word usage and just-plain-stupid writing. Read morePublished on July 25, 2009 by William Sommerwerck