Page:The Craftsmanship of Writing.djvu/78

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THE POWER OF SELF-CRITICISM

tise and the methods by which they strive to produce their results. Every page of such criticism is in the nature of a craftsman's confessions—they are full of priceless illumination.

Yet it cannot be too strongly insisted that, in writing far more than in painting, there is a great deal that cannot be taught and that you must think out for yourself. One reason, undoubtedly, is that the craftsmanship of letters is more elastic than that of the other arts—there is scope for a greater freedom and originality. Henry James, in The Art of Fiction, shrewdly says: "The painter is able to teach the rudiments of his practice, and it is possible, from the study of good work (granted the aptitude) both to learn how to paint and to learn how to write. Yet … the literary artist would be obliged to say to his pupil much more than the other, 'Oh, well, you must do it as you can.'" Again,

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