I do like it when bloggers share little snippets from books they've read, or are reading, especially when these excerpts are anecdotal in nature. And so I thought I'd share something I read years ago in A.A. Milne's (brilliant) autobgioraphy, and which has stayed with me:
[J.M.] Barrie told me of an occasion when he was present at a gathering of young authors all very busy talking about style. An older man sitting aloof in a corner, but listening intently, was asked to contribute to the discussion. He confessed uncomfortably that he had never thought about the subject: he would rather listen and learn what he could: he really would have nothing to say of any value: they all knew much more than he did. Fearing to be drawn more deeply into the argument, he added that he had to go now, and slipped out. "Who was that?" Barrie was asked. Barrie, who had brought him there, explained that it was Thomas Hardy.