The dilemma in writing

To what end should a literary style take hold of writing?

A piece of writing may be as beautiful as the Corsican stars or as nearly sophisticated as a Kierkegaard ramble, but if it is to everyone else (that is, apart from the writer himself) an incomprehensible tangle of words, a repulsive concoction of verbosity, a work of art whose smears and brushes none can decipher, then it might as well be garbage.

The primary motive of writing is to communicate ideas. Thus is formed the fundamental duty of a writer.

Were I to write something convoluted and full of obscured words, many would probably offer it no more than a quick glance. They shall consume the first sentence in ease, but upon realizing the tediousness of digesting the whole, retract their minds immediately. What I had intended to say is then smothered as much by the lyricism as by the incomprehensibility of it all, and as a writer, I am really no more masterful than a toddler who still thinks the pen a magical creature; as a writer, I have failed to perform my fundamental and foremost duty.

Should I then write as simply as I can, and for the sole sake of clarity? This age is one that demands instant information; not gouaches paintings that by its nature blurs the once definite landscape, and which invites the viewer to make sense of it all through keen observation and an expanding of the mind’s imagination. Clarity and simplicity thus becomes the sin qua non of every piece of writing that wishes itself to be read and understood, while flavorful adjectives, like goods no longer desired in the market, are miserly banished.

It seems that if one truly wished to be a better writer, or at least one more understood, one needs only write more simply. Yet, what if one found a tremendous joy in writing in those absurdly fanciful manners? What if metaphors and a queer configuration of words gave him a sense of delight that nothing else could? What if he tries to write in the tritest manner possible and in alignment with the single principle that is clarity, and finds his pen moving sluggishly, as if uninspired and languished by the sheer monotony? This is his dilemma. He has to wonder which is worth more to him – the satisfaction at being read and understood, or the joy in imaginative chemistry.


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