As is my habit, I sat down recently with a long-departed author for an interview. Thomas De Quincey (1785–1859), though most famous for Confessions of an Opium Eater (1821), was a considerable essayist and literary critic. Said to be unfailingly courteous, he was reputed to be an extraordinary conversationalist who never monopolized conversations. The answers here are his own words verbatim with a few tacit ellipses.
BAG: You’re concerned about the decline of rhetoric, aren’t you?
De Q: No art cultivated by man has suffered more in the revolution of taste and opinion.
BAG: Why do you say that?
De Q: There was a …
Something to Consider
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