Advice for aspiring doctor-writers

Every so often a junior doctor comes to Dalrymple and confesses that he or she is afflicted with literary ambition. He gives them three pieces of advice:

  1. Continue in the hospital for a few more years, because human nature is concentrated and distilled there as if for the express purpose of training writers.
  2. On no account consort with academics of the humanities departments of any university, for to do so is the primrose path to stylistic perdition.
  3. Read a great deal.
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