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23 Jun 10 | Re: The road to greatness

According to the Uruguayan author Horacio Quiroga, the way to achieve greatness as a writer is to start by choosing another great writer and imitating his or her style. What you won’t ever do, says Quiroga, is match the style of the master. But if you have talent, in trying to imitate that person you will eventually find your own style. In fact, you won’t be able to stop your own personality and ideas coming through and making the style your own.

I wonder how many of today’s greats developed their craft in that way. I wonder how many of those would admit to it.

To me, Quiroga’s idea has some truth in it. Certainly when it comes to writing a song, I’ve often started out trying to write in the style of a song that I like. The end result never sounds anything like the song I was trying to copy; it generally sounds like another song written by me, but usually a better one than the ones I’ve tried to write without a model in mind.

Posted by AURELIANO BUENDIA at 18:22

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