No Country for Long Paragraphs and Big Words

The era of the codex is ending, but I’m still clinging on

Benny Carts


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I have a confession.

This isn’t my preferred writing style. If I genuinely believed there was a viable alternative, I’d stop in a heartbeat. I’d forgo the conversational phrases, fatuous formatting, and dumbed-down diction. I’d refrain from mollycoddling you with the syntax of a children’s book. Oh yes, if I were king, I’d pen meandering paragraphs interspersed with interesting words and thought-provoking aperçus; each one a puzzle box for the tenacious reader.

Instead, I write like this.

Catch my drift? (Urgh)

I’ve got a suspicion there are many writers on this platform — compelled by unreachable carrots or girdled by ghosts of success — who sacrifice complexity, nuance, and the overflowing joy of language on the altar of accessibility. Yes, that was a long sentence, but it wasn’t that long. Several decades ago, W.G. Sebald (drawing influence from nineteenth-century German prose) revived and reconfigured this ostensibly archaic feature.¹ Then again, he died shortly before blogging came to prominence.

This, dear writers and readers, is merely a rant; a diatribe in defense of self-discovery. The kid gloves are off and I’m channeling the…