I have been reading ‘Several short sentences about writing’ by Verlyn Klinkenborg this week. It was recommended to me by my Copenhagen Business School colleague, Professor Len Seabrooke. The book is easily the most radical I have read on writing. For that reason alone I recommend it, presuming you are open minded about how English should be written.
More interesting is its epistemology. This paragraph from page 38 explores that. I quote it as it is written in the book:
The central fact of your education is this:
You’ve been taught to believe that what you discover by thinking.
By examining your own thoughts and perceptions,
Is unimportant and unauthorised.
As a result, you fear thinking,
And you don’t believe your thoughts are interesting,
Because you haven’t learned to be interested in them.
This is what most people, and most especially most academics and their students, should know. But they don’t. And the result is chronically poor writing that reflects chronically poor thinking.
Read the book, I say.
That was a short sentence.
Written as a short review, of an important book.