What Makes a Good Writer? (originally written by Zadie Smith)

Illustration by Garrincha

Tradition versus the individual talent

But before we go any further along that track we find TS Eliot,that most distinguished of critic-practitioners, standing in our way. In his famous essay of 1919, “Tradition and the Individual Talent”, Eliot decimated the very idea of individual consciousness, of personality, in writing. There was hardly any such thing