A word to the weary about writing in the long form . . .

As Dr. Johnson tells us in A Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland (1775):

“I love anecdotes. I fancy mankind may come, in time, to write all aphoristically, except in narrative; grow weary of preparation, and connection, and illustration, and all those arts by which a big book is made. If a man is to wait till he weaves anecdotes into a system, we may be long in getting them, and get but a few, in comparison of what we might get.”

Weary indeed, my friends, and more convinced by the day that the big book is for the young writer. Young reader too, perhaps.