I’m finally reading the Meditations of Marcus Aurelius (the Gregory Hays translation). I was struck by this passage:
Not to be sidetracked by my interest in rhetoric. Not to write treatises on abstract questions, or deliver moralizing little sermons, or compose imaginary descriptions of The Simple Life or The Man Who Lives Only for Others. (p. 6)
Some themes were cliches two thousand years ago, and a wise man knew not to indulge in them.