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Home :: Archive :: 1997 :: June ::
Re: Bad Writing
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 8.0642.  Friday, 6 June 1997.

[1]     From:   R. D. H. Wells <
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        Date:   Thursday, 5 Jun 1997 14:19:03 +0100 (BST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0632 Re: Bad Writing

[2]     From:   E. H. Pearlman <
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        Date:   Thursday, 05 Jun 1997 08:38:49 -0700 (MST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0641  Re: Bad Writing


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           R. D. H. Wells <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
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Date:           Thursday, 5 Jun 1997 14:19:03 +0100 (BST)
Subject: 8.0632 Re: Bad Writing
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0632 Re: Bad Writing

I'm not sure that Robert Appelbaum is correct in suggesting that dislike
of difficult prose is confined to the right. However, rather than simply
branding this kind of writing "good" or "bad" in absolute terms,
shouldn't we be asking what its purpose is? EP Thompson (whose
credentials as one of England's greatest Marxist historians don't need
rehearsing) has no doubt about that purpose: it is elitism (The Poverty
of Theory).  What better way of demonstrating your own intellectual
superiority than to write prose of such impenetrable obscurity that not
even your own peers can make out what you are talking about.

Robin Headlam Wells

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           E. H. Pearlman <
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 >
Date:           Thursday, 05 Jun 1997 08:38:49 -0700 (MST)
Subject: 8.0641  Re: Bad Writing
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0641  Re: Bad Writing

If the Bad Writing Awards are indeed a right-wing scheme to expose the
sloppiness and pretenses of the left, as one of our correspondents has
complained, then we who think of ourselves as being on the left should
be grateful for the criticism.  Inasmuch as the left has by far the
better arguments, it should have no need to wrap its ideas in the
ghastly packaging that the Bad Writing Awards have noticed.  No one
should write stuff that looks and sounds ludicrous;  it discredits all
intellectual activity.  E. Pearlman
 

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