Saturday, March 12, 2011

Saying too much

Here we go. I'm going to raid my old Ancient Literary criticism book from university for the following idea. A guy back in the 16th century wrote it, but I'm going to paraphrase it. Demetrius said that persuasiveness has two characteristics, clarity and ordinary language. Anything obscure and out of the ordinary is unconvincing....we must aim to avoid diction which is ornate and pretentious and arrange the words so that the sentence has a firm structure with no attempt at rhythmical effects." He goes on to say that too much description insults the reader's intelligence and leaves nothing for the imagination. I sometimes fall into this problem. I have to remind myself that the reader has to also participate in the work if it is to be successful. See Colin's work for this right balance of description and invitation. Demetrius finishes by saying, "In fact, to tell your hearer everything as if he were a fool is to reveal that you think him one."


No comments:

Post a Comment