Logan Pearsall Smith (1865-1946) was a New Jersey-born essayist and critic who became a British citizen in 1913. His Words and Idioms made him an authority on the correct usage of the English language. In his own writing he was a perfectionist who often took days to refine a sentence. His thoughts about writing and writers are often quite profound.

“The great art of writing is making people real to themselves with words.”

“What I like in a good author is not what he says, but what he whispers.”

“What things there are to write, if one could only write them! My mind is full of gleaming thought; gay moods and mysterious, moth-like meditations hover in my imagination, fanning their painted wings. But always the rarest, those streaked with azure and the deepest crimson, flutter away beyond my reach.”

“Every author, however modest, keeps a most outrageous vanity chained like a madman in the padded cell of his breast.”

“The notion of making money by popular work, and then retiring to do good work, is the most familiar of all the devil’s traps for artists.”

“Yes there is a meaning; at least for me, there is one thing that matters – to set a chime of words tinkling in the minds of a few fastidious people.”

“People say that life is the thing, but I prefer reading.”



  1. Dan Beeaff says:

    Smith had a poignancy to his quotes. Nice.

    Sent from my iPad



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  • Copyright © 2011-16, Dianne Ebertt Beeaff. All Rights Reserved.
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