Typed letter signed "Margaret Widdemer"
Widdemer, Margaret, American novelist
Price: 50.00 USD
Canada Lake, New York: 1959. 2 pages. 1 vols. Tall 8vo. Responding to Hartley's letter enquiring about her literary career and the importance of her education on her writing. She writes "that high school education and college experience aren't necessary to creative writing...I find that those who do best-always remembering that creativeness can't be taught, only helped and forwarded-are those who have read with interest and pleasure-or even just read...it is almost better to have bad taste than no mind of your own. Also-the omniverous reader builds a foundation of style automatically. Discussing this with other professional writers, I find that many of them believe that the capacity to write well, to construct properly, cannot be taught: you have it or you haven't. I don't think this is true. But I do think that you have to start with imagination. If, added to that, you have a pleasure in words, in making your sentences and paragraphs march most easily and effectively, in shaping what you write until it says what you want it to say so that the reader hears what you want him to hear; if you have pleasure in rightly done writing, whether you read it or write it." She mentions the "sexing up" of fiction may sell a book but isn't what makes it good or not and quotes Charles Hanson Towne "'Faith, hope and clarity, and the greatest of these is clarity!' Obscurity is not a good in itself. It may not hide profundity. It may be just muddled thought-or muddled words". To Wesley Hartley, an educator and teacher. Folds, original envelope, else fine.