Joseph Epstein

The best talkers are those who are devoted to keeping the conversation going… they view sociability as a form of musical composition — a string quartet or octet of the Baroque, perhaps … talk ought, like a winning musical composition, to have melody, harmony, and development; it ought also to take gently surprising turns and twists and end with everyone who has taken part glowing with pleasure and, as the conclusion nears, wanting more. Not easily achieved, such conversation, yet when it does come about, how light and free and fine life appears. And how richly rewarding friendship seems.

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