francois de la rochefoucauld

Francois VI, Duc de La Rochefoucauld, on Writing

“If I were interested in literary glory I think that with a little trouble I could make quite a name, for I can write good prose and make up decent verse. / I am fond of all kinds of reading, but especially that in which there is something to train the mind and toughen the soul; and above all I find very great enjoyment in sharing my reading with an intelligent person, for in so doing one can continually reflect upon what is being read, and such reflections form the basis of the most delightful and profitable conversation… / I do not think this knowledge of mine will ever pass from my head to my heart.” — from his self-portrait

Voltaire said Rochefoucauld’s Maxims had a huge hand in the formation of taste in French culture, “giving it a feeling for aptness and precision,” says Leonard Tancock, the translator. I found this book randomly at the library, and realized David Shields included it in a reading list posted on The Millions. These ones I thought had something maybe to do with writing or whatever:


Craft Notes & Excerpts / 2 Comments
December 9th, 2010 / 7:31 am