Less is more, in prose as in architecture.
– Donald Hall
Marking an off season of several months—I see that the last post around here hails from August 2022—we are back with another essay, one whose brevity you’ll surely find endearing. If not, you get your full money’s worth back.
Speaking of brevity—and what with this essay titled Less Is More, More Or Less—I hasten to orient new readers to the (generally prevalent) style around here. While not intended as such, some of my essays have been called “novellas”. I can but think to the following which may have done the deed, as in garnering a reputation for wordiness:
With such goings on, you are about to witness the proverbial pendulum swing the other way. And I can already hear some of you say, Hooray!
1. The Heart of the Matter
I have made this [essay] longer than usual, only because I have not had the time to make it shorter.
– Blaise Pascal
Taking a cue from architecture—specifically the “less is more” movement—we now lay the foundation for its counterpart in prose: The less the prose, the more the impact, or so the thinking goes anyway. (You’ll be the best judge.)
So shall we dispense with all those needless words, as Strunk & White kept insisting all writers do? More or less, yes. But we’ll keep the “digressions” firmly planted in these regions; they have been the raison d’etre for all the essaying to date. We will see how that evolves.
One thing’s for sure, things are already looking up: Not only will you get concise, hard-hitting essay from here onward, the very next one will be from a guest writer, a terrific wordsmith and, far more importantly, a deep, clear-eyed thinker. Stay tuned, and we’ll meet again, right here, in about a week.