The Corner

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Re: Derb Day


OK, read the Preface. I never really know whether I _should_ read prefaces.
A lot of people tell me: “Oh, I never read prefaces, prologues,
introductions, all that front matter. If the book itself is no good, what
difference will the preface make?” On the other hand, I like Dr. Johnson’s
principle: Figure out what the author is trying to do, then form a judgment
about whether he did it or not, and how well. If he tells you in the
preface what he’s trying to do, that saves you guessing. There is also a
school of thought that says one should read the body of the book first,
then go back and see how well the preface fits… OK, OK, whatever:
starting in on Chapter 1. Uh-oh, wait a minute, got to pick up kids from
bus stop…


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