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How to Fail in Literature; A Lecture
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How to Fail in Literature; A Lecture

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  13 Ratings  ·  6 Reviews present you this new edition. This Lecture was delivered at the South Kensington Museum, in aid of the College for Working Men and Women. As the Publishers, perhaps erroneously, believe that some of the few authors who were not present may be glad to study the advice here proffered, the Lecture is now printed. It has been practically re-written, and, like the k ...more
ebook, 41 pages
Published December 3rd 2010 by Pubone.Info (first published 1890)
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Oh Mr Lang, if you were alive now.
Sep 03, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The humour employed by Mr. Lang in this lecture is enjoyable, and his observations on the process of writing and literature, if occasionally leaning more towards caricature than realism, are astute and refreshing. At times the writing itself is obtuse, but not so much that it prevents the comprehension of a focused reader, especially if that reader is already familiar with more archaic modes of expression. While the transition between the introduction and the body of the lecture did not sustain ...more
I'm not sure if I should feel comforted or sad that not much has changed in the world of writing in the past 125 years. Much of what Lang wrote about as examples of how to fail in literature are still incredibly relevant today.

For instance - Lang suggests hopping on bandwagons and copying whatever the latest popular trend is, rather than trying something new and original. While you may have some small monetary success, you're sure to not be remembered outside of the several dozen other stories e
Jul 04, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-and-own
2 αστερακια
εξυπνος τιτλος κ εξυπνος τροπος να σε κανει να καταλαβεις τι πρεπει ναποφυγεις,
με μια δοση χιουμορ κ σαρκασμου,
ομως εχω διαβασει ακλυτερα βιβλια του ειδους! με ουσιαστικες-πρακτικες συμβουλες

πχ δεν θεωρω συμβουλη (την οποια πληρωσα βιβλιο για να διαβασω)
το να κανω νατιγραφο του εργου μου
η 4 σελιδες που αφιερωσε στη ποιηση ενω μιλαμε για λογοτεχνια
η στις 3 σελιδες πουα φιερωσε στους κριτικους θαβοντας τους
κ χαριτολογώντας να λεει οι γυναικες συγγραφεις να μην τους την πεσουν

εν κατακλ
Tim VanderMeulen
Again, Andrew Lang hits the spot in the dialogue of literary concept. He expounds on the ways a writer may fail, which of course no one wants to do, but it makes the lecture humorous and interesting. It is always a good idea to see a point from all angles, and with the knowledge of how to fail, a writer can avoid doing that which will lead him there. Lang makes some great points, most of which I'm sure will help me with my own writing. Great topic and thought-provoking material here.
Meg Morden
A wonderful writing primer set up as how to fail at writing. Most amusing and informative written, in high blown Victorian style.
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Andrew Gabriel Lang was a prolific Scots man of letters. He was a poet, novelist, and literary critic, and a contributor to anthropology. He now is best known as a collector of folk and fairy tales.

The Young Scholar and Journalist
Andrew Gabriel Lang grew up in Selkirk in the Scottish Borders, the son of the town clerk and the eldest of eight children. The wild and beautiful landscape of his childh
More about Andrew Lang...
“To the enormous majority of persons who risk themselves in literature, not even the smallest measure of success can fall. They had better take to some other profession as quickly as may be, they are only making a sure thing of disappointment, only crowding the narrow gates of fortune and fame. Yet there are others to whom success, though easily within their reach, does not seem a thing to be grasped at. Of two such, the pathetic story may be read, in the Memoir of A Scotch Probationer, Mr. Thomas Davidson, who died young, an unplaced Minister of the United Presbyterian Church, in 1869. He died young, unaccepted by the world, unheard of, uncomplaining, soon after writing his latest song on the first grey hairs of the lady whom he loved. And she, Miss Alison Dunlop, died also, a year ago, leaving a little work newly published, Anent Old Edinburgh, in which is briefly told the story of her life. There can hardly be a true tale more brave and honourable, for those two were eminently qualified to shine, with a clear and modest radiance, in letters. Both had a touch of poetry, Mr. Davidson left a few genuine poems, both had humour, knowledge, patience, industry, and literary conscientiousness. No success came to them, they did not even seek it, though it was easily within the reach of their powers. Yet none can call them failures, leaving, as they did, the fragrance of honourable and uncomplaining lives, and such brief records of these as to delight, and console and encourage us all. They bequeath to us the spectacle of a real triumph far beyond the petty gains of money or of applause, the spectacle of lives made happy by literature, unvexed by notoriety, unfretted by envy. What we call success could never have yielded them so much, for the ways of authorship are dusty and stony, and the stones are only too handy for throwing at the few that, deservedly or undeservedly, make a name, and therewith about one-tenth of the wealth which is ungrudged to physicians, or barristers, or stock-brokers, or dentists, or electricians. If literature and occupation with letters were not its own reward, truly they who seem to succeed might envy those who fail. It is not wealth that they win, as fortunate men in other professions count wealth; it is not rank nor fashion that come to their call nor come to call on them. Their success is to be let dwell with their own fancies, or with the imaginations of others far greater than themselves; their success is this living in fantasy, a little remote from the hubbub and the contests of the world. At the best they will be vexed by curious eyes and idle tongues, at the best they will die not rich in this world’s goods, yet not unconsoled by the friendships which they win among men and women whose faces they will never see. They may well be content, and thrice content, with their lot, yet it is not a lot which should provoke envy, nor be coveted by ambition.” 5 likes
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