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Saturday, December 14, 2013

Why write?

I would like to quote not the beginning but the last paragraph of a fine post for Southerly by Kathryn Heyman:

Aristotle wrote of the need to cultivate moral virtues in order to achieve a life well-lived. In Greek philosophy virtue, arete does not so much suggest goodness as excellence.
AristAristotle developed his ‘doctrine of the mean’ to explain how a particular virtue sits half-way between two undesirable extremes. The virtue of courage, for instance, sits somewhere between cowardice (being overwhelmed by fear) and rashness (remaining insensible to fear). And courage, it seems to me, is one of the primary writerly virtues. But finding this mean is far from a mechanical calculation. It requires the practical wisdom, phronesis, we touched on in the previous post. So for the writing life, the virtue of courage is crucial. I’ll reflect in my next post on the other crucial writerly virtues, those that give life. But you might have your own, secret or not-so-secret, list of writing virtues.
It's a fine meditation on writing (verb) - read it all at

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