Page:The Craftsmanship of Writing.djvu/124

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to begin with a volume of verse,[1] follow it up with collected essays, usually of literary criticism, then a novel or two, a four-act play—and at that time he has reached a point where he feels at liberty to confine himself to whichever form he finds most congenial. A man with this sort of training may, of course, have wasted himself to some extent in misplaced efforts, in attempting certain things for which he was not temperamentally fitted; but he seldom makes the mistake of trying to fit an idea into the wrong literary framework. It is the other type of craftsman, so common in this country: the man who starts with a

  1. "Maupassant began by writing verses; that seems to be the rule, the versified form being the inevitable one for the dawn of literature and for the budding writer as well. Nearly all the masters of contemporary prose have begun by writing verse, even M. Alexandre Dumas himself. Later they have proved their critical taste by not repeating the experiment."—René Doumic, Essay on Maupassant.