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appreciation of U.S. intellectuals

Jacques Barzun On Writing

Two months ago Jacques Barzun—former Columbia University professor, historian of culture and ideas, and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom (in 2003, with Julia Child among others)—sat for an interview to discuss the art of writing.* I offer this for your consumption because I profited much, in theory at least, from Barzun’s challenging 1975 book on the craft of writing titled Simple and Direct: A Rhetoric for Writers.** I say “in theory” because he held forth ideals with which I still struggle. As a bonus, at the 45:00 minute mark in the interview Barzun also discusses why he chose Read more