Saturday, November 20, 2004

Strauss on Reading and Writing

From Leo Strauss, Persecution and the Art of Writing:

It is a general observation that people write as they read. As a rule, careful writers are careful readers and vice versa. A careful writer wants to be read carefully. He cannot know what it means to be read carefully but by having done careful reading himself. Reading precedes writing. We read before we write. We learn to write by reading. A man learns to write well by reading well good books, by reading most carefully books which are most carefully written.

Quoted from Edwin Curley, Behind the Geometrical Method: A Reading of Spinoza's Ethics (Princeton University Press, 1988), p. ii.