From “Tradition and the Individual Talent”

There is no need to let a “lack” of personal experience keep the writing unwritten. There is a truth that undercurrents most writing, regardless of situation or subject matter. While there are many fine poets who fought a duel a day, many playwrights who slept with all the men in the state of Texas, many novelists who rode motorcycles helmetless at high speeds, remember too that Phillis Wheatley was a slave, Anton Chekhov worked as a simple country doctor, and Marcel Proust and Emily Dickinson both hardly ever went out of the house. (Suzan-Lori Parks)


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