This little book is a collection of a few letters sent between Elizabeth Bowen, Graham Greene, and V.S. Pritchett.Despite the title, the book isn't really about why these writers write, the main question that they struggle to answer is what is, and what ought to be, a writer's relationship to society.Some of the responses are a bit silly, but some are pretty sharp.I particularly like Bowen's observation that people are eager for writers to get involved in society because they seem to be "conferer[s] of shape, interpreter[s] of direction"; that writers are being asked, not to triangulate themselves usefully to society, but to build it somehow.All the writers provide a great glimpse into the intellectual mind of Britain in the late 1940s.
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