Sage writing was a genre of creative nonfiction popular in the Victorian era. The concept originates with John Holloway's 1953 book The Victorian Sage: Studies in Argument. Sage writing is a development from ancient wisdom literature in which the writer chastises and instructs the reader about contemporary social issues, often utilising discourses of philosophy, history, politics, and economics in non-technical ways. Prominent examples of the genre include writings by Thomas Carlyle, Matthew Arnold, John Ruskin, and Henry David Thoreau. Some 20th-century writers, such as Joan Didion and New Journalists such as Norman Mailer and Tom Wolfe, have also been identified as sage writers.
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