July 23: Angles

Figuring out your angle is as much a part of writing as looking out the window and wondering if you've done enough work to justify getting a snack. Francis Bacon's angle was being the first person to write essays in English. That's a great angle. It had better be, because the only justification to writing this unremarkable sentence (in "Of Expense"):

But ordinary expense ought to be limited by a man’s estate; and governed with such regard, as it be within his compass...
is that you're the first one to do it in English. He also advises, if you're spending money in one place, why not reduce expenses in another? Move over, Suze Orman -- who's living proof, I guess, that no one ever takes this advice, or there would be no need to build your career on continuing to give it.

Now, it's up to me to find my angle on the other essay, "On Friendship," which has long stretches concerning favorites among the Roman emperors. And where I'm angling is here:
A man cannot speak to his son but as a father; to his wife but as a husband; to his enemy but upon terms: whereas a friend may speak as the case requires, and not as it sorteth with the person.
It's like the Promise Keepers' version of marriage -- it would look bad for your position as Head of Household to mingle with the help. It's not even clear, actually, if Bacon (who was Lord Chancellor) even thinks that the common people can have friends, since the first thing he looks at is how the kings do it. Or maybe he is like one of those bloggers who has to refer everything to politics -- like, what does the big WNBA brawl mean for the election?

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