On Older Prose

In a comment to a post about Frederick Douglass on Mano’s blog, John Morales quoted a bit of Douglass’ writing and said about it,

Old-timey, dense but succinct, convoluted but quite clear.
I kinda like that style.

I’m currently reading The Theory of Moral Sentiments by Adam Smith.  (I figured I should read it sooner or later, and it’s quickly becoming later rather than sooner.)

I, too, enjoy the beauty of pre-twentieth century prose; and I admire the care that the authors took with it; but I find Smith tedious because he keeps saying the same damn thing over and over again.  I wish he’d make his point and move on.

For lighter reading, I’m working on It’s OK to be Angry about Capitalism by Bernie Sanders.  I’m spending a lot more time with Smith but getting through Sanders much more rapidly.  I guess that’s not really very surprising. 😎

I hardly ever skim anything, preferring to savor the language.  That makes me a slow reader, but I like it that way.  I’m guessing that I have much the same feeling as do folks who are more visual than I when they stand and stare at a painting.

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