“The Air is Alive with Fear and Care” @AllinghamArts #CreativityAgainstCorona

The Air is Alive with Fear and Careriver and tree

When people greet in South Sudan, they hold hands for many minutes – half an hour if the warmth is strong, the bond of kin or friendship. How is your mother? Your aunt? Your son? And your herd of cattle – thriving? Did the speckled cow survive the difficult birth?

Now the air crackles between us, friend or stranger, in every nation. Two metres. Six feet, the length of a coffin.

I walk a narrow path in the woods, meet a man with an unleashed terrier. Will he step to his side, mirror my care? He does. We smile, we breathe a sigh. The air is alive with fear and care.

On the lake the Swans continue their slow courtship. I am learning the songs of the residents – Blackbird, Robin, Song Thrush, Wren – while they have the forest to themselves. The evenings are longer by the day. Larks exhilarate, Starlings murmurate, dark swirls against a brightening sky.

Soon the explorers will arrive from Africa – Cuckoo and Swallow, the creaking Corncrake, not yet extinct. There is no call to quarantine the birds. This island will levitate with their cacophony, their mating joy, they will tell again their noisy stories, how they navigate by star maps and the magnets in their eyes.

Leave us our green walks, I pray. O makers of the rules of wise restraint, let me be close to the wisdom of Hazel, let me watch its first leaf unfurl out of the cell of winter. I can do this, I tell myself. Cocoon. Lock-down. Self-isolate.

And if they say I cannot walk between the trees, there is still my garden, small and unruly, in need of love. I can do this, however long it takes.

If every day I can rinse my heart clean of fear. If I can fill my lungs with the forest god’s green air.

Monica Corish, 24 March 2020, @AllinghamArts #CreativityAgainstCorona

Poetry and Story, Landscape and Myth – Imbolc writing workshop February 2nd

At this workshop, based on the Amherst Method, we will write in response to prompts inspired by Imbolc / Lá Fhéile Bríde.

Imbolc is associated with the birth of lambs, the spring sowing, the return of the long days and the fire of the sun. It is a time of new beginnings, green shoots, the unploughed field, the blank page. Imbolc is also known as Brigid’s Day – Lá Fhéile Bríde. Brigid, honoured both as a pre-Christian goddess and as a Christian saint, is linked with blessing and fertility, inspiration, midwifery and birth.

No previous knowledge of myth or experience of writing is necessary to participate in this writing workshop – all you need bring with you is a notebook, a pen, and a willingness to be surprised by your own unique voice.

“What brings me back time and again is the surprise of not knowing what will emerge…”

Just Write

Kinlough, Co Leitrim; Fortnightly on Wednesdays, January 15 – May 20;  7 – 9:30 PM.

2888979463_7d12d71a4cYou like to write, but you don’t know where to start? You used to write, but you can’t remember how you made it happen? You are a writer, but your words feel stale on the page?

Then this Amherst method workshop is for you. Full details at monicacorish.ie/workshops, or contact monicacorishwriting@gmail.com / 087-641 4185.

 

Image credit: amystrachan https://www.flickr.com/photos/30802789@N02/

Writing Workshops, Kinlough, Co Leitrim, Spring 2020

Details, Dates, PayPal links: monicacorish.ie/workshops/

Writing: the Art and the Craft – – Fortnightly on Tuesdays typewriter-28701_960_720

Writing and manuscript response for those who are working toward publication. Develop your skills through tailored exercises and guidance on craft, and receive constructive critique and insightful feedback from other writers. 

Just Write – – Fortnightly on Wednesdays      2888979463_7d12d71a4c

Creative writing time for everyone: beginners & experienced writers, women & men, anyone over the age of 18. Whether you are completely new to creative writing or an experienced writer who wants to generate new work and experiment with different genres and styles, this Amherst method workshop is for you.

Image credit: amystrachan https://www.flickr.com/photos/30802789@N02/

Poetry Workshop: Early Bird Ends Midnight November 17

early bird, by joe hfPoetry: the Art and the Craft – Places still available

Saturday 23 November 2019, 11 am – 5 pm, Clanchy Court, Kinlough, Co Leitrim. Cost: €60 / Early bird: €50 before November 17.

Email to receive a PayPal button, for payments with credit card / debit card / PayPal, or post a cheque. Places limited, advance booking essential.

One Day Poetry Workshop, November 23

Poetry: the Art and the Craft

Saturday 23 November 2019, 11 am – 5 pm, Clanchy Court, Kinlough, Co Leitrim. 

A day of reading, writing and revising poetry. All you need bring with you is your notebook and a curious mind. If you have a poem – max 20 lines – you’d like to receive feedback on, bring 10 copies to the workshop. 

Cost: €60 / Early bird: €50 before November 17.

Email me to receive a PayPal button, for payments with credit card / debit card / PayPal, or post me a cheque. Places limited, advance booking essential.

 

Space still available

Poetry and Story, Landscape and Myth: Samhain 2019

The Glens Centre, Manorhamilton, Sunday, November 3, 10:30 – 16:30.     €30, booking through https://glenscentre.ticketsolve.com/shows/873607199 or phone the Glens: (071) 9855833.       Led by Monica Corish, award-winning writer and AWA certified writing workshop leader.

limnal trapeze

The Liminal Space: Andrea Cambridge-Gonzales, Liminal Space & Instructional Design on Pinterest

Poetry and Story, Landscape and Myth: Samhain 2019

The Glens Centre, Manorhamilton, Sunday, November 3, 10:30 – 16:30.     €30, booking through https://glenscentre.ticketsolve.com/shows/873607199 or phone the Glens: (071) 9855833.       Led by Monica Corish, award-winning writer and AWA certified writing workshop leader.

autumn-mood-3830084_1280At this workshop we will write in response to prompts inspired by Samhain.

The festival of Samhain is associated with borders, boundaries and liminal spaces – between life and death, sleep and waking, the world of the everyday and the world of the sídhe. It is the time of summer’s end and the beginning of winter and the Celtic year, a time when the veil between worlds is thinned. Our writing may be inspired by any realm – by mythical borders or by political limits and lines on the map. No previous experience of writing is necessary – all you need bring with you is a notebook, a pen, and a willingness to be surprised by your own words.

Poetry: The Art and the Craft – Kinlough Co Leitrim – Autumn 2019

Fortnightly on Thursdays 7 – 10 PM

If you’re iGutenberg Pressnterested in developing your skills as a poet, this is the workshop for you. You will spend time reading and learning from established poets, writing new work, and revising your poems through constructive critique and insightful feedback. 

Thursday, Sep 12 & 26; Oct 10 & 24; Nov 7 & 21; Dec 5. Min 6 / Max 9 participants Cost for 7 sessions: €130. Early bird before Sept 2: €110.

Enquiries to monicacorishwriting@gmail.com. Payment by PayPal button or by cheque

Women’s Writing Group, Kinlough Co Leitrim – Autumn 2019

Women Writing Together – – Fortnightly, Wednesdays, 7 – 9:30 PM

64-roman-terentia-ou-terenzia-gold-hairnet-imperial-period-pompeii-from-wikimedia-commonsExplore your creativity and develop confidence in your voice by writing with other women in a warm and encouraging environment. If you are new to creative writing,  or if you want to use the workshop time to explore your voice, experiment with different genres and styles and write new work, then this Amherst method workshop is for you.

Wednesdays, Sep 11 & 25; Oct 9 & 23; Nov 6 & 20; Dec 4.  Min 6 / Max 11 participants.  Cost for 7 sessions: €110 Early bird before Sept 2 : €95

Enquiries to monicacorishwriting@gmail.com. Payment by PayPal button or by cheque

2019 Allingham Competitions Open – Poetry and Flash Fiction

Tom Sigafoos

aa Allingham_Festival_Logo

The 2019 ALLINGHAM POETRY AND FLASH FICTION COMPETITIONS are now open.

Deadline: 26 September 2019

Details: €300 prizes for winners in Poetry and Flash Fiction competitions. €5 entry fee. Prizes awarded at 2019 Allingham Festival Literary Lunch on Saturday, 8 November in Ballyshannon, Co Donegal. Rules and on-line entry forms at http://www.allinghamfestival.com/fiction-poetry-competitions

This year’s Allingham Festival will feature journalist Eamonn McCann, poet Annemarie Ní Churreáin, documentary filmmaker Garry Keane,  illustrator and former Children’s Laureate PJ Lynch, and a tribute to playwright Frank McGuinness.

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Lughnasa Creative Writing August 11

This Lughnasa-inspired workshop, led by Monica Corish, will take place in Manorhamilton, Co Leitrim on Sunday August 11, 10:00 – 18:00, only €30.

The day will begin with a short writing exercise in the Glens Centre.  Weather permitting, we will then go on a car-pooling, wheelchair-accessible, mystery field trip, where we will glean further inspiration, before returning to the Glens Centre in the afternoon. And if it is a day of torrential rain, as is entirely possible, a Plan B will be hatched. More details closer to the time…

You can book directly through the Glens Centre website, or by phone/email: (071) 985583 / info@theglenscentre.com

 

Image credits: Lugh by Brian Froude, Wheat Bees Design mightyskins.com, Tailltiu by Jim Fitzpatrick.

You can learn more about this series of workshops, “Poetry and Story, Landscape and Myth”, from Ocean FM Arts House (the interview between Harry Keaney and Monica Corish begins about 16 minutes into the podcast).

Places still available on Manorhamilton Writing Workshop, May 26 – Book Now

Only €30. This Bealtaine-inspired workshop, led by Monica Corish, will take place on Sunday May 26, 10:30 – 4:30. You can book directly through the Glens Centre website, or by phone/email: (071) 985583/info@theglenscentre.com

Learn more about the workshop from my earlier blog, and from this Ocean FM Arts House podcast. The interview between Harry Keaney and Monica Corish begins about 16 minutes into the podcast.

 

Bealtaine Writing Workshop: Interview on Arts House, Ocean FM Sunday May 19

maeve close upMy interview with Harry Keaney for Ocean FM’s Art House will be broadcast Sunday, May 19 between 8 and 9 p.m. (about half way through the program, Harry tells me). During the interview we talked about my upcoming Bealtaine Creative Writing Workshop at the Glens Centre, Manorhamilton. and also about the writing life, writing workshops and the Amherst Method.

You can book for the Bealtaine workshop (Sunday May 26, 10:30 – 4:30) directly through the Glens Centre website.

Bealtaine Creative Writing May 26

To book, contact the Glens Centre Manorhamilton directly:  (071) 985583 / info@theglenscentre.com. Sunday, May 26, 10:30 – 16:30. Cost: €30. Places limited, advance booking required.

In the month of May the Cailleach of Winter transforms into the blossoming Goddess of Summer. Bealtaine is associated with the fertility of nature and the imagination; with flowering hawthorn; and the need-fire of purification and blessing. The Tuatha De Danann are strongly linked with Bealtaine. According to the Book of Invasions, the golden people of the goddess Danu landed at Sliabh an Iarainn (Iron Mountain, on the shores of Lough Allen, Co Leitrim) during the Bealtaine festival. Many years later they went through the same mountain into the Otherworld and became the daoine sídhe.

Slieve Anierin mountainviews.ie crop

At this workshop we will draw on the stories of Bealtaine to spark new writing in any form – poetry, story, memoir, opinion, reflection. The workshops will be led by award-winning writer and AWA-trained writing group leader Monica Corish monicacorish.ie. They are suitable for both novice writers and experienced writers, anyone over the age of eighteen. No previous knowledge of folklore or myth is needed.

This is the first in a series of workshops on the theme of “Poetry and Story, Landscape and Myth”, supported by the Glens Centre, the Arts Council and Leitrim County Council. Photo credit Slieve Anierin mountainviews.ie

CORRECTION: May 26, Poetry and Story, Landscape and Myth: Glens Centre, Manorhamilton

Prince Connells Grave KiltyclogherBe inspired to write by the landscapes and borders, mythologies and megaliths of Leitrim and the North West. Four one day workshops at the Glens Centre, Manorhamilton, led by Monica Corish. €30 / single workshop; €100 / 4 workshops

  • Bealtaine: Sun May 26 2019, 10:30 – 16:30
  • Lunasa: Sun, Aug 11 2019, 10:00 – 18:00
  • Samhain: Sun, Nov 3 2019, 10:30 – 16:30
  • Imbolc: Sun, Feb 2 2020, 10:30 – 16:30

 

An Cailleach Bhéara Rob Hurson Flickr

 

Places limited, advance booking required.

To book, contact info@theglenscentre.com / (071) 9855833.

Supported by the Glens Centre, the Arts Council and Leitrim County Council.

 

 

New Year’s Resolution: Do more of what you love

writing handYou’d like to be a better writer? Or a better poet? You write a little, but you’d like to write more? Or you haven’t written since school, but you’d like to give it a try? 

This term I’ll be leading three fortnightly workshops in Kinlough, Co Leitrim. Not sure which is for you? Read more at monicacorish.ie/workshops, or contact me.

  • Tuesday evenings: ‘Writing: the Art and the Craft’, for writers of fiction, memoir and creative non-fiction
  • Wednesday evenings:  ‘Women Writing Together’, for beginners, and for women who want to explore their writing voice.
  • Thursday evenings: ‘Poetry: the Art and the Craft’

Early bird concession available until Jan 7. Workshops start Tues 15 / Wed 16 / Thurs 17 January. Places limited, so advance booking is advised.

New! Poetry workshop in Kinlough, and more…

Spring 2019, Kinlough, Co Leitrim: This term I’m offering:

  • a new series of workshops on Thursday evenings: ‘Poetry: the Art and the Craft’
  • my regular Tuesday workshops: ‘Writing: the Art and the Craft’, for writers of fiction, memoir and creative non-fiction
  • plus my regular ‘Women Writing Together’ workshops on Wednesdays

Full details at monicacorish.ie/workshops. Places are limited, so advance booking is advised.

Makes me write instead of thinking about writing.” – J O’C

 

“When we neglect the artist in ourselves, there is a kind of mourning that goes on under the surface of our busy lives.”

Pat Schneider, founder of the Amherst Method, in ‘Writing Alone and with Others’, OUP.

Women Writing Together, Kinlough, Co Leitrim, Autumn 2018: Explore your creativity, develop confidence in your voice by writing with other women in a warm and encouraging environment. The workshops will be led by award-winning writer and Amherst trained writing group leader Monica Corish. For more info go to www.monicacorish.ie/workshops / contact monicacorishwriting@gmail.com / 087-6414185.

 

Autumn Writing Workshops, Kinlough

Writing: The Art and the Craft – Tuesdays – Kinlough, Co Leitrim

typewriter-vintage-old-vintage-typewriter-163084Develop your writing skills through free-writing and craft exercises, constructive critique and insightful feedback. Seven x 3 hours: Tuesdays, 7 – 10 pm, Sept 11 & 25, Oct 9 & 23, Nov 6 & 20, Dec 4 2018. Cost: €125, early bird concession €100, before Tues Sept 4.

Numbers limited, advance booking essential. For more info and payment options go to www.monicacorish/workshops

Women Writing Together – Wednesdays – Kinlough, Co Leitrim

my labyrinth smallExplore your creativity  and develop confidence in your voice by writing with other women in a warm and encouraging environment. Seven x 2.5 hours: Wednesdays7 – 9:30 pm, Sept 12 & 26, Oct 10 & 24, Nov 7 & 21, Dec 5 2018. Cost: €105, early bird concession €90, before Tues Sept 4.

Numbers limited, advance booking essential. For more info and payment options go to www.monicacorish/workshops

Writing: The Art and the Craft

Writing: The Art and the Craft – Tuesdays – Kinlough, Co Leitrim

typewriter-vintage-old-vintage-typewriter-163084Six Tuesday evenings: 7 – 9:30 pm, Apr 10, Apr 24, May 1, May 8, May 22, Jun 5. Cost: €90, early bird concession €75, before Tues Apr 3.  For more infomonicacorishwriting@gmail.com 087-6414185. Numbers limited, advance booking essential. Develop your writing skills through constructive critique, feedback and tailored craft exercises.

  €90

Women Writing Together – Wednesdays – Kinlough, Co Leitrim

my labyrinth smallSix Wednesday evenings: 7 – 9:30 pm, Apr 11, Apr 25, May 2, May 9, May 23, Jun 6. Cost: €90, early bird concession €75, before Tues Apr 3.  For more infomonicacorishwriting@gmail.com 087-6414185. Numbers limited, advance booking essential. Develop confidence in your voice by writing with other women in a warm and encouraging environment.

  €90

Sligo, November 25: Poetry and Story Inspired by Myth: The Cailleach

A workshop to generate new writing, inspired by the myths of the Cailleach, of Samhain and Winter, the dark of the year… The workshop will take place in the Sligo Park Hotel on Pearse Road, halfway between Queen Maeve’s Cairn on Knocknarea and the Cailleach a Bherra’s House in the Ballygawley Hills, in the heart of Sligo’s ritual landscape. What better place to meet your mythic muse?

When? Saturday, November 25, 10:30 – 5:30. Where? Hazelwood Suite, Sligo Park Hotel. Cost? €80. Numbers limited, advance booking essential. For more info contact 087-6414185, monicacorishwriting@gmail.com To pay, go to www.monicacorish.ie/workshops/

 

This is the second in a series of “Poetry and Story Inspired by Myth” workshops led by award-winning writer and AWA certified writing group leader Monica Corish.

Poetry and Story Inspired by Myth: The Cailleach

Saturday, November 25, 10:30 – 5:30, Hazelwood Suite, Sligo Park Hotel. Cost €80 / €70 if payment received by November 19. To book, go to monicacorish.ie/workshops/, for more info contact monicacorishwriting@gmail.com

CailleachShe is the Hag of Winter, both female and male, the end and the beginning, the gateway to the ancestors, she is the dark before birth and the dark we fear. And, in her wild and withered dryness, she is the juicy source of our best writing…

This is the second in a series of “Poetry and Story Inspired by Myth” workshops led by award-winning writer and AWA certified writing group leader Monica Corish.

The workshop will take place in the Sligo Park Hotel on Pearse Road, halfway between Queen Maeve’s Cairn on Knocknarea and the Cailleach a Bherra’s House in the Ballygawley Hills, in the heart of Sligo’s ritual landscape. What better place to meet your mythic muse?

 

Literary Highlights of the Allingham Festival 2017

Poetry Masterclass; Fighting Words; The Art of Awareness; Literary Lunch; Wild Atlantic Writers; and lots, lots more… Book all events through Eventbrite. More info at www.allinghamfestival.com

Allingham 2017 logo

  • Friday, 10:30 – 11:30 Fighting Words Information Session, with Sean Love – for anyone interested in learning about Fighting Words, the free creative writing programme for students of all ages in Ireland.
  • Friday, 11:30 – 12:30: Fighting Words Volunteer Training, for those who have already completed the application process – if you are interested in applying in time for this training, please email donegal@fightingwords.ie
  • Friday, 13:30 – 15:30: The Art of Awareness: A Creativity Workshop for Adults, with Olive Travers
  • Friday, 16:00 – 17:30: Wild Atlantic Writers, with Mick Delap, Winifred McNulty, Monica Corish and Enda McGloin.
  • Saturday, 9:00 – 12:00: Poetry Workshop with Moya Cannon: “Stitching the Inner and the Outer World Together”. This workshop is aimed at those who have been writing poetry for some time – places limited to 10. Participants are asked to send two pieces of work to allinghamfest@gmail.com before October 31st.
  • Saturday 12:30 – 15:00: Literary Lunch in Nirvana: Splendid Food; Jim Keane Flash Fiction Award; Allingham Poetry Award; launch of “Grace” by Paul Lynch
  • Saturday 15:30 – 17:00: Mike McCormack, author of “Solar Bones”, in conversation with Sinead Crowley, RTE Arts and Media Correspondent.
  • Saturday 19:00 – 20:00: History Ireland Hedge School: William Allingham – “An Irish poet but not a national poet”? Moderated by Tommy Graham, editor of History Ireland.

Do you have what it takes to be a Fighting Words volunteer?

Fighting Words is coming to South Donegal/North Leitrim/North Sligo/West Fermanagh, and we are looking for volunteers!  Have you got what it takes? Have a browse on the Fighting Words website: www.fightingwords.ie/volunteer to learn more, or come along to an information session at Bundoran Library on Monday, October 9 from 12 till 1.

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From the website:

What kind of people volunteer at Fighting Words?

Everyone! All tutoring at Fighting Words is free and delivered by teams of volunteer writing tutors.  We have over 400 volunteer tutors – people from all walks of life – including third level students (from all disciplines!), retired people, writers (both professional and aspiring), teachers, journalists, visual artists, musicians and filmmakers – just to name a few.

What kind of skills do I need to volunteer at Fighting Words?

Anyone who enjoys working in a creative environment with the individuals and groups that come to our centres – and is a good listener –  is welcome to volunteer. You don’t need to be a writer or a teacher to be a Fighting Words volunteer writing tutor.

What kind of commitment to I have to give?

Volunteering with Fighting Words is totally flexible because your time is a valuable resource.  Tutors choose the days and times they come in using our online calendar for Dublin, Glencree and Cork.  You simply click on the day you’d like to come in and sign up. For example, we have tutors who choose to come in on the same day every week on the same day, tutors who come in for a week or two in the summer and tutors who come in a few times a year for evening workshops. In Mayo, the local volunteer co-ordinator will contact you by email about our monthly workshops.

There is no minimum time commitment – and we mean that!

Deadline Extended for Allingham Flash Fiction and Poetry Competitions

Dig out your best work, there is still time to enter. Up to 5 poems, max 40 lines; up to 5 flash fiction pieces, max 800 words.  Moya Cannon will judge the poetry competition, Paul Lynch the flash fiction, and Monica Corish will be the filter judge for both competitions. Read all about it at http://www.allinghamfestival.com/fiction-poetry-competitions/

And keep an eye on the Allingham website for news of lots of splendid writerly events, including a poetry masterclass from Moya, a book launch from Paul, and readings from all three judges.

 

Creative writing on Thursday mornings in Bundoran Community Centre

Bundoran Community Centre is offering a new ETB-funded creative writing class on Thursday mornings, 10.30 – 12.30,  starting September 28.

The cost for 7 sessions is only €14. The classes will be led by local creative writing tutor Monica Corish. Places are limited, so contact bundorancommunitycentre@gmail.com to book your place, or phone 071-982-9675.

 

Bundoran Community Centre Creative Writing Logo

 

Quotes on Writing, Quotes on Living

Tom Sigafoos

Each morning I read the latest postings from The Writer’s Almanac, Delancey Place, and Word-a-Day. From those sources, and a few others, I’ve collected two kinds of quotations that have caught my eye:

  • Quotes on writing, primarily from writers – observations and advice on how to use language to spin stories, conjure memories, and reconstruct vivid experiences.
  • Epigrams, aphorisms, and observations about this endlessly-challenging business of living.

aa-author-photo-cropped-2Last year I launched www.tomsigafoos.com, hoping to attract a community of like-minded writers and readers. At the core of the website, I’ve posted quotations. In 2016, most of my posts were about writing. In 2017, in a world that seems to be losing its sense of decency and compassion, I’m going to post other quotes as well.

I hope that you enjoy the quotations and ideas. Please consider following my blog, re-blogging the quotes, and sharing them on Facebook or re-tweeting them on Twitter…

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“It’s A Performance” published in Authors Publish Newsletter #347.

Excellent advice from the excellent Tom Sigafoos.

Tom Sigafoos

overciming pub spk anx

My article on reading your work in public (“It’s a Performance”) has been published in Issue 347 of the Authors Publish Newsletter.

Writers who haven’t yet discovered Authors Publish should take a close look at the newsletter. They provide up-to-date news on journals and publishers who are seeking submissions, plus interesting articles related to the business and the craft of writing — all for free.


What’s in a Name?

Harold Lillis and Leslie Townes became Bing Crosby and Bob Hope.

What is songwriter and singer Roberta Joan Anderson’s stage name?

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Why Writing is More Important Than Ever

Tom Sigafoos

In The Best of BrainPickings 2019, Maria Popova includes an article on Iris Murdoch which quotes extensively from her book Existentialists and Mystics: Writing on Philosophy and Literature. It includes deeply-encouraging observations on why it is vital to keep writing, even in these dark days following another “low and dishonest decade”:

iris murdoch 2

“Tyrants always fear art because tyrants want to mystify while art tends to clarify. The good artist is a vehicle of truth, he formulates ideas which would otherwise remain vague and focuses attention upon facts which can then no longer be ignored.

“The quality of a civilisation depends upon its ability to discern and reveal truth, and this depends upon the scope and purity of its language.

“Any dictator attempts to degrade the language because this is a way to mystify.

“Whenever we write we ought to write as well as we can… in order to defend…

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