This week’s 5 best reads for writers

In this edition of the Week in Writing, Dickens shows the power of wordiness, The Atlantic publishes Christopher Hitchens’ final essay, a poet shares 39 great blogs for writers, and more.

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Charles Dickens’s birthday and the age of verbosity.

This week marked the 200th anniversary of Dickens’ birth, prompting a flood of retrospectives on his work. A blog from The Washington Post seemed most apropos because it celebrates the author’s verbosity in a time when brevity is all the rage.

“These days, some strive for clarity and brevity,” writes Alexandra Petri. “Others write online fan-fiction about rabbits in the first person. Dickens wrote elastically—he could expand and contract time and space, prolong an evening for a chapter or skim through a whole revolution.”

Now, imagine the opening sentence of “A Tale of Two Cities” jammed into a tweet: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it”—ah, forget it.

Read Petri’s blog here.

Born Talese.

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