Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Adam Haslett on Stanley Fish and Strunk and White

There's lots about this article that's lovely and interesting, and I'm especially taken by the allowance that extra words are in fact what we enjoy about good writing. Also that "if we could separate meaning from sound, we'd read plot summaries rather than novels," and that teaching minimalist writing leads to minimal thinking and lack of creativity. Teaching someone how to write good sentences might be the ultimate Sisyphean task. But what's stuck with me (since I read this Monday) is this bit about letter writing: "The writing of complete sentences for aural pleasure as well as news is going the way of the playing of musical instruments—it's becoming a speciality rather than a means most people have to a little amateur, unselfconscious enjoyment." Right? Interesting!


  1. I like what you did there with "allowance" and "extra words." Very nice performative exemplification. And the article is a good read.

  2. Welcome back to the blogosphere. And yes, let's be grateful it wasn't a bat!