Simplicity or style: what makes a sentence a masterpiece? – Jenny Davidson | Aeon Ideas - Deepstash

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Simplicity or style: what makes a sentence a masterpiece? – Jenny Davidson | Aeon Ideas

https://aeon.co/ideas/simplicity-or-style-what-makes-a-sentence-a-masterpiece

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Simplicity or style: what makes a sentence a masterpiece? – Jenny Davidson | Aeon Ideas
They're the building blocks of great literature, but not all sentences are equal and the best carry an entire worldview

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The sentence

If we think of a book as an individual house, each sentence becomes a tiny part of the house. Some are mostly functional, while others are the details we remember and take away.

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The great sentence

A great sentence makes you want to think it over slowly while considering it. The sentence must have a certain distinction of style and order that is unique to the author.

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Great sentences in moderation

Some writers bestow greatness in every sentence without tiring their readers while others can become wearisome with the unrelenting sequence of such sentences. Great minimalist sentences may be enjoyed for longer.

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Richard Feynman (1918–1988) "The Great Explainer”

He is considered to be one of the most important physicists of all time.

Feynman was brilliant, eloquent, and an exquisitely passionate thinker who stands unequivocally for his...

The Feynman Technique

The Feynman technique for teaching and communication is a mental model (a breakdown of his personal thought process) to convey information using to the point thoughts and simple language.

Feynman started to record and connect the things he did know with those he did not know, resulting in a thorough notebook of subjects that had been disassembled, translated, and recorded.

We can use this same model to learn new concepts.

“In order to talk to each other, we have to have words, and that’s all right. It’s a good idea to try to see the difference, and it’s a good idea to know when we are teaching the tools of sc...

“In order to talk to each other, we have to have words, and that’s all right. It’s a good idea to try to see the difference, and it’s a good idea to know when we are teaching the tools of science, such as words, and when we are teaching science itself.” 

Richard Feynman

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Getting clear on thought

Getting clear on thought

The knowledge of our thoughts can be effortless and instantaneous. Other times, our thoughts are obscure and we must work hard to gain clarity.

Trying to understand the process of turning t...

Articulating our thoughts in the hard cases

To succeed in articulation, we need to chisel away at imprecise words, while guarding against words that would blur what we think.

We often discover what we think by reflecting on what we find ourselves saying. Immediately articulating our thoughts can also come out of us as buzzwords that might hardly reflect what we think at all. (eg, 'What a mess!') These words could come as a result of habit and obscure your thoughts even from yourself.

The paradox of articulation

The careful searching for words we need stands in tension with the ignorance we hope it will remedy. The clarity we want seems to consist in the knowledge that we're thinking some specific thought.

Jean-Paul Sartre touched on this paradox when he stated: "This is indeed what linguists and psychologists have perceived … they believed that they discovered a circle in the formulation of speaking, for in order to speak it is necessary to know one's thought. But how can we know this thought as a reality made explicit and fixed in concepts except precisely by speaking it?"

What Home Feels Like

What Home Feels Like

We often confuse the structural, physical entity that is the house as home. It may be the body of the home, and just like we relate to our body, the home relates to the house structure.

Home Is A Soul

Just as we are extremely lucky if we get one great love in our lives, we should consider ourselves lucky if we get a real home. The abstract concept of a home is almost supernatural, with the house being the architecture, providing shelter. Great architecture is like the external beauty of a person, which may or may not be corresponding to what the person really is from inside.

Nevertheless, the outside is what provides a lust, a longing to see what’s inside.

Architecture Is Fascinating

Architects are creators in the real sense. They can conceptualize and implement great design and arouse deep feelings just by the work they do.

Their work is a siren call for many, both romantic and high in status.