And the writers I admired, an ill-assorted gallery now peopled by Dickens, Chekhov, Firbank (for the dialogue), Evelyn Waugh, P. G. Wodehouse, Raymond Chandler and Lytton Strachey (who still seems to me to have had the best prose style of any writer this century, and to be the only true genius of the Bloomsbury Group), could hardly be said to have had the documentary approach. What they all had in common, I suppose, apart from an admirable determination to entertain, was a belief in the importance of style and a preference for trying to catch some fleeting truth in a web of artifice, rather than bashing it on the head with a camera and a tape-recorder.
3 May 2016
The Importance of Style
John Mortimer, Clinging to the Wreckage (London: Penguin Books, 2010), p. 79: