This page, created solely in an effort to promote & encourage the art of creative writing--the Literary Art--offers instructive and enjoyable selections, both to stir our visitor's interest, while encouraging & aiding the student (who visits this Web Site for information, inspiration, insight or comfort) in the pursuit of excellence in any writing to which he or she may aspire; our hope, to promote improvement in contemporary English and American literature. One of the typical differences between a Conservative & a non-Conservative personality or temperament--admittedly we generalize, for Conservatives come in all types--is that the Conservative is relatively more concerned with the quality of cultural refinements available to his family & loved ones. We tend to seek grace and beauty as positive values--often more important than our more material quests.
While those of other persuasions may also value art--indeed many (probably a majority of) writers are themselves caught up in the erroneous assumptions of the Left, though few of such leftist writers seem much more capable of grace & beauty than they are of reason--it is the Conservative, as conservator of cultural norms and values, who has the greatest appreciation for the non-material achievements of his society--both spiritual & artistic. And in this appreciation, one will find both the motive and the need to encourage excellence in the literary pursuit; not only in the exposition of social values, but equally important--as in and of itself an important social value; a significant part of our cultural heritage--for the pure sake of the art, as a most meaningful contribution to the enjoyment of life.
Some of the materials posted or linked here, will also appear in one or more of the menus on other pages at this site--as on those at our Intelligence Center and/or on our Archival page. However, increasingly, as we further develop this resource, we will post items that will appear here alone. The idea of a Literary Corner is to provide a "corner" where ideology takes second place to art--a bit of balance, which we feel will enhance the total value of this site.
We have selected the initial item, in the menu below, with some care: an essay by America's most innovative writer, Edgar Allan Poe on "The Philosophy Of Composition." Poe was not only the inventor of the modern detective story; not only the superb master of the horror and obsession genre', as well as one of the greatest American poets. He was also the foremost American literary critic of the 19th Century, as well as a pioneer in science fiction and innovator in humor & burlesque. His essay, here, is a cogent, direct and to the point, analysis of creative art in literature. He briefly touches upon the correct approach to writing a novel; and then illustrates the steps--from determining upon an effect to its methodical achievement--in a shorter production; illustrating point by point, how he himself constructed "The Raven," which is probably his most famous poem. Anyone with a serious interest in Creative Writing will benefit from a study of this essay.
The other selections will each be briefly identified in the description of the link, below. It is our hope that you will find this page of interest & value; and return often, also with enjoyment, as we add resources.
Other Poe materials:
Poe Reviews Hawthorne & Defines The Short Story
Poe's Most Famous and Most Emulated Short Story--'The Gold Bug'
Poe's 'Raven' & 'Annabel Lee'
Poe Ridicules The Word Games Of British Utilitarians
Poe On Fanaticism
Poe Challenges Human Arrogance ("Instinct vs. Reason")
Short Stories, By Other Writers--Highly Recommended By Poe:
The Minister's Black Veil--By Nathaniel Hawthorne
Mr. Higginbothham's Catastrophe--By Nathaniel Hawthorne
Dry Humor: The Debating Society--By Augustus Baldwin Longstreet
The Turf--Another Piece By Longstreet
For Tragic Power: The Black Veil--By Charles Dickens
A Ghost Story: Murder Will Out--By William Gilmore Simms
A British Ghost Story: The Tapestried Chamber--By Sir Walter Scott
Short Stories By Later Writers:
An unusual side to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle--Short Literary Spoof:
The Parasite--An 1894 Horror Story By Doyle
Frank R. Stockton's Classic Psychological Enigma:
The Lady, Or The Tiger?
Richard Connell's 1924 Classic Tale of reversed roles:
The Most Dangerous Game
H. L. Mencken's essay on Senator James A. Reed's retirement in 1929, has been on other of our menus for some time--offered to encourage the student to read the materials from Reed, for their strong ideological argument & technique. We offer the link, here, as a literary example of the very best in sprightly journalism. Note the strong cadence that Mencken achieves--how effectively it makes his points:
James A. Reed of Missouri
Next, three Poems by Rudyard Kipling: The first, "The Explorer," captures the essence of the heroic type that played a major role in White settlement of the interior regions of America, Australia and South Africa. Not really ideological, it is not listed elsewhere at this web site. The two more ideological poems--actually rebukes for perceived philosophic error--which follow, are listed on several of our other menus for philosophic content. Here, they are offered as examples of effective satire; to illustrate a hand skilled at mixing fancy with reality in order to stimulate awareness of an underlying truth.
The Gods Of The Copybook Headings
An Imperial Rescript
Engaging illustrations of how talented Victorian novelists (Blackmore, Dickens, Doyle & Thackeray) achieved tone and effect:
Selections From Victorian Novels
The Good But Spirited English Girl In Victorian Literature
And, in not quite the same vein, Thackeray's Christmas Fairy Tale in Novella form--an excellent introduction to serious reading for the seven to nine year old, yet a bit of satiric spoof for his parents:
The Rose & The Ring
Interesting illustrations of psychological themes & interaction, from Wilkie Collins & Herman Melville:
Psychological Concepts In 19th Century English & American Fiction
Oratory has always been a legitimate verbal art form. Consider, here, General Douglas MacArthur's beautiful and inspiring farewell to West Point, which illustrated not only the ethic of the American man at arms, but a true mastery of English usage. Following that, is the address by Senator James A. Reed of Missouri, which H. L. Mencken describes in the essay linked above. Then, what is unquestionably one of the greatest speeches ever delivered in the United States Senate, Daniel Webster's March 7, 1850 plea on behalf of the great Compromise that he hoped might save the American Constitutional Union:
Duty, Honor, Country
Funeral Oration For The League Of Nations
Daniel Webster's Greatest Oration
Here is an interesting tale telling how the famous frontiersman, Davy Crockett, learned what the Constitution really means:
A non-English classic by the 19th Century Danish writer, Hans Christian Andersen: A fable with a universal moral:
The Emperor's New Clothes
No American journalist in the 20th Century wrote with greater clarity or precision, none with more compelling rhetoric or cadence, than James Jackson Kilpatrick, Editor of the Richmond (Virginia) News Leader in the 1950s and early '60s. In 1957, he wrote The Sovereign States to challenge increasing Federal encroachment into State and local affairs. In our opinion, the book was not only philosophically and Constitutionally sound; it exhibited, in sparkling prose, some of the best American Conservative writing of the 20th Century. Now, sixty+ years later, it is available again, on line:
The Sovereign States
We republish the short novel by Judge Beverley Tucker, The Partisan Leader, written in 1836. Edgar Allan Poe, thought highly of the writing ability of Judge Tucker, so the piece has obvious literary claims. It offers insights into the values & culture of Virginia in 1836, but is written prospectively, set in 1849. While believed by those who brought out a new edition in 1862, eleven years after Tucker's death, to have foreshadowed the Southern War for Independence in the 1860s, the precipitants for what the novel describes are somewhat different. In our opinion, it should be read solely for what it has to say, both by way of story--which at points is gripping--and/or philosophy. No other comment seems appropriate:
The Partisan Leader
Finally, we invite you to consider our own Kipling themed novel, which explores the fallacies of the Left:
Return Of The Gods
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