Saturday, October 18, 2014

Literary deficiency

I am reading Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen. I had never read one of her novels, but had seen this movie; and I was curious to see how closely the movie followed the book. Austen's writing, following the style of the day, is very wordy. Most of the time is taken up with conversations, and the speakers used the involved, formal verbage prevalent in that generation.

What struck me immediately is how deficient society is today in the use of language. I do not deny that Austen's expressions could have been made less unwieldy; my point is that most high school students today probably would not have the verbal skills, and certainly not the mental perseverance, to read this book.

We have become a society of technical experts, and the noble old English language has been left in the lurch. Sad. My concern is not that people do not choose to read after Austen's somewhat ponderous style, but that they would not have the skills and discipline to appreciate it if they were to read it.

No comments: