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These nouns denote a written communication directed to another: received a letter of complaint; the Epistles of the New Testament; a memorandum outlining the attendance policy; a missive of condolence; a thank-you note.
climb Parnassus To pursue the arts, particularly poetry; to court the Muses. Parnassus, a mountain in central Greece near Delphi, was sacred to Apollo and the Muses. It is thus identified with literary endeavors such as the Muses would inspire.
Grub Street Literary hacks or drudges collectively. This expression takes its name from Grub Street (now Milton Street) in London. The area was once a haven for poor, inferior writers and literary hacks. Grub Street, which dates from at least 1630, is also used adjectivally to mean ‘inferior, low-grade, poor.’ Ralph Waldo Emerson used the expression in this passage from Society and Solitude:
Now and then, by rarest luck, in some foolish Grub Street is the gem we want.
hack A drudge, especially a literary one; a writer or artist who denies his creative talent and does inferior, unoriginal, dull work in an effort to attain commercial and financial success. An abbreviation of hackney, this term originally referred to a horse for hire as well as to the driver of a hackney coach or carriage. This last meaning of hackgave rise to the term’s current meaning.
potboiler An inferior literary or artistic work executed solely for the purpose of boiling the pot ‘earning a living’; a literary or artistic hack, such as produces potboilers.
Such … was the singular and even prosaic origin of the “Ancient Mariner” … surely the most sublime of “potboilers” to be found in all literature. (Henry Duff Traill, Coleridge, 1884)
See also boil the pot, SUBSISTENCE.
|Noun||1.||letters - the literary culture; "this book shows American letters at its best"|
culture - the tastes in art and manners that are favored by a social group
|2.||letters - scholarly attainment; "he is a man of letters"|