Page:The Craftsmanship of Writing.djvu/26

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THE INBORN TALENT

one or more authors of big accomplishment and fine discernment who may serve the place of literary godfather, and who in rare and wonderful instances, such as that of Flaubert and Maupassant, actualise that ideal form of apprenticeship which all the arts enjoy save only that of letters. Again, it sometimes happens that a beginner is fortunate enough to choose for his adviser a professional reader whose horizon happens to be wider than that of the mere market value of literary ware, and whose suggestions stimulate the growth of his mentality as well as of his bank account. And then again, there are editors, who, in spite of the burden they carry, are not always too busy to send, with a rejected manuscript, a line or two of welcome advice to a young author whom they see to be stumbling needlessly—or a few words of equally valued praise to the beginner whose first work

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