Monday, November 20, 2006

ON MINIMALISM IN WRITING: A MANIFESTO

Authors should possess many words and use few. To write well is to communicate a meme. The intent of writing is communication. Communication is successful expression, which is the most effective transmission of a meme. A meme is a concept, an experience, an idea. It is reality expressed linguistically. Effective transmission provides an economy of form that most efficiently creates within the consciousness of the reader that which exists within the consciousness of the author and she wishes to communicate. Effectivity is determined by the author alone. Random economy is ineffective, and fewer words, if poorly chosen, do not communicate a meme as intended. She, if skilled, will recognize the purest form, and, if successful, the reader should as well. The egress of experience equates success. That which fails will be consumed. Excess is distraction; economy is essence. Only that which is elegant in form pierces the perceptions of both author and reader. It is the sharpest (s)word that cuts the most precisely, and through less, the sublime.


ON GRAMMAR: SEVERAL THOUGHTS

1. Writing requires grammatical construction. Each placement of one word after another requires a grammatical decision and must contribute to the greater structure. The longer a writing becomes, the greater the number of possible relationships between one word and any other word becomes. In a novel containing 60,000 words, the number of possible relationships between any two words is 60,000^60,000. Of course, no author creates, no reader intakes, and no human operates on such a level of complexity. The relationship between only two words has a miniscule implication for the reader. But is the implication so small for the author? Words stack up into sentences, sentences stack up into paragraphs, paragraphs into chapters, and chapters into books. To any author seeking to write a book: consider the relationship between two words and how to perfect it. It is from this ceaseless dichotomization that language assumes structure and content assumes meaning.

(What then is the relationship between mathematics and grammar? Can mathematical principles be communicated linguistically?)

2. A computer code is built mathematically on logical principles. A code is fed into a computer and produces a response. A book is read and produces a response. Is there a connection between the principles on which a program is encoded and a grammatical structure is created? Input and feedback; reading and response. An elegant code is akin to an elegant proof. An elegant proof reaches a complex solution without even one excess process. e=mc^2: a complex equation expressed elegantly. To what extent is elegance in prose possible and effective? How is elegance implemented in prose? The ramifications of elegance as a concept are profound, philosophical.

3. It is a tragedy that the process of reading has become nothing more than consumption: it happened when books became objects to be consumed rather than processes to be run on the human machine.

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home