Count Tolstoy and C.S. Lewis on Writing


Count Tolstoy and C.S. Lewis on Writing

Starting with Count Tolstoy:

From the first lines you see the intention behind the writing, and all the details become superfluous—you feel bored. Above all, you know that the author never had any other feeling than the desire to write a story or a novel. [1]

Now compare Lewis:

When every one feels it natural to attempt the same kind of writing, that kind is in danger. Its characteristics are formalized. A stereotyped monotony, unnoticed by contemporaries but cruelly apparent to posterity, begins to pervade it.[2]




[1] Tolstoy, Leo. Что такое искусство? Chto takoye iskusstvo?  (What is Art?) 1897. Translated by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky. NY: Penguin. 1995 . XIV, 117.

[2] Lewis, Clive Staples. The Allegory of Love: a Study in Medieval Tradition. Oxford, UK: Clarendon. 1936. Second Edition. 1946.  232.



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