Tuesday, March 01, 2005

You, sir, are no Nabokov.

Once again, allegations of pretention have been leveled at my favorite non-Bamber blog, Crescat Sententia. Mr. Baude and I discussed this issue at great length and with some heat, but in the end I was left with a few unanswered questions:

- What does it mean to be intentionally obscure, and can one be excused if one merely foresees that others might find a passage thus?
- To what extent can the blog reader be expected to sift through clever lies and a shotgun spray of literary allusions to get to the meat of a topic?
- Is it too much to ask that a post have a topic or topics that is rapidly apparent?
- Are Jeremy Reff and Chun the Unavoidable sharers of a single hive mind?

I'll wrap up with some links:

Bad Writing
On Bad Writing
A handy checklist to have while writing, compliments of Orwell:
A scrupulous writer, in every sentence that he writes, will ask himself at least four questions, thus:

1. What am I trying to say?
2. What words will express it?
3. What image or idiom will make it clearer?
4. Is this image fresh enough to have an effect?

And he will probably ask himself two more:

1. Could I put it more shortly?
2. Have I said anything that is avoidably ugly?
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