10-second review: The sun and moon are all right for doing things, but inspiration requires candle-light.
“Hail candle-light! without disparagement to sun or moon, the kindliest luminary of the three—if we may not rather style thee their radiant deputy, mild viceroy of the moon! We love to read, talk, sit silent, eat, drink, sleep by candle-light. They are everybody’s sun and moon.”
[What did the old folks do without candle-light?]
“There is absolutely no such thing as reading, but by a candle.”
“Can you tell pork from veal in the dark?”
“…daylight furnishes the images, the crude material [for poetry]…[but] must be content to hold their inspiration of the candle.”
“Betty, bring the candles.”
Great Essays. Ed. Houston Peterson.
What is an essay? “They are all prefaces. A preface is nothing but a talk with the reader; and they [essays] do nothing else.” Charles Lamb.