tue 06 jan 2009 11:42:38 witte de withstraat
i find that as i'm reading john stuart mill again, promted by something lydia said ... i find i am slogging through his marathon sentences with some considerable resentment. his sentences are in the end quite decipherable, if you can just get beyond this feeling of "what the fuck is the matter with this guy?"
mill could easily have expressed himself in less opaque language, and his points would have been just as compelling and much more penetrating. so why did he write this way instead? was it just to be credible among the intellectual class of his day? was he caving to the classist filtration demands of academicism? if so -- how dare he? it may be just my generation that makes me feel that writing unnecessarily convoluted language isn't just wasteful, it is egregious, abominable, sinful.
it's weird that i could feel that way. i don't seem to have any complaints with the horrible authors of "beowulf". maybe it's because i don't think "beowulf" is trying to make any important points, as mill is doing.