Style – Raymond Chandler and John Sutherland

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‘The most durable thing in writing is style, and style is the most valuable investment a writer can make with his time. It pays off slowly, your agent will sneer at it, your publisher will misunderstand it, and it will take people you have never heard of to convince them by slow degrees that the writer who puts his individual mark on the way he writes will always pay off.’ So wrote Raymond Chandler, arguably the most stylish writer ever to have written a crime novel. Few artists succeed in creating their own style – as another great instrumentalist, the trumpeter Miles Davis, once put it, ‘it takes a long time to play like yourself’. Most never get there.” (bold emphasis in original, p.84)

Ref: John Sutherland (2010) 50 Literature ideas you really need to know. Bloomsbury: London

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