This blog is mostly about my writing. I like writing and I like reading about writing. And reading stuff that is written. So today I'm featuring writers.
George Orwell published a fabulous essay in 1946 called "Politics and the English Language." It's about writing well, about using "language as an instrument for expressing and not concealing or preventing thought." He rails against modern writing that obfuscates rather than illuminates by stringing together phrases and metaphors and lots of extra words.
(Example: here's how he translates a verse from Ecclesiastes first in plain English and then in "modern English."
"I returned and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all."
Here it is in modern English:
"Objective considerations of contemporary phenomena compel the conclusion that success or failure in competitive activities exhibits no tendency to be commensurate with innate capacity, but that a considerable element of the unpredictable must invariably be taken into account."
Read it all here.
And this is a video, which I saw on Andrew Sullivan's blog Daily Dish, of Peter Rollins, Irish (but living in the US) writer, speaker, founder of ikon, a faith group that blends music, theater, ritual and reflection, talking about truth and resurrections and some other stuff. Very thought provoking. See it here.