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ColoradoGuy
02-08-2007, 09:28 AM
"Good prose is like a pane of glass," wrote Orwell -- the author is on one side of the pane of language, the reader is on the other. The clearer the prose, the clearer the connection between author and reader. Post-modernists think this notion is quaint. They find the language glass to be at best translucent, sometimes entirely opaque, and sometimes even a mirror reflecting back the image of the reader.

Though Orwell's pane-of-glass simile is often quoted, he admits himself in the same essay that language is never neutral; it always carries political baggage of some sort. It's a short essay, (http://orwell.ru/library/essays/wiw/english/e_wiw) and worth reading.

C.bronco
02-09-2007, 06:02 AM
Funny, I was thinking about this today. I heard that Nirvana song (not sure which) that goes "He's the one
Who likes all our pretty songs
And he likes to sing along
And he likes to shoot his gun
But he don't know what it means
And I say aahh"

And I thought about a poet I know who said "you read poetry with your life" (measuring it against your experiences).
I've also heard it said that some poetry/art you feel before you understand. I had that experience with The Waste Land. I didn't know German or Greek or Latin, nor necessarily all of the references, but I "got it" right away.

Any art allows the viewer/reader to inject themselves into the experience. I like to play with ambiguity sometimes when I believe both interpretations make my point.

SpookyWriter
02-09-2007, 09:44 PM
"Good prose is like a pane of glass," wrote Orwell Unlike bad prose which feels like the pain of cut glass.

ColoradoGuy
02-09-2007, 11:03 PM
Unlike bad prose which feels like the pain of cut glass.
Or a pain in the glass.

SpookyWriter
02-10-2007, 01:14 AM
Or seeing life through the shattered glass eye of a poet.

William Haskins
02-10-2007, 01:44 AM
time constraints prevent me from engaging this subject right now, but i'll offer this and try to jump in later:

http://www.newcriterion.com/archives/25/02/orwells-catalonia-revisited

ColoradoGuy
02-10-2007, 01:47 AM
Nice link -- thanks. Pane of glass indeed.

Adagio
02-10-2007, 02:14 AM
time constraints prevent me from engaging this subject right now, but i'll offer this and try to jump in later:

http://www.newcriterion.com/archives/25/02/orwells-catalonia-revisited

Thanks for the link. How well I relate to the paragraphs ref. clandestinity. I myself copied the Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four by hand and kept the copies hidden.

Adagio