Reaching the end of Stempowski

August 5, 2012 § Leave a comment

And so I have read every word ever written by Jerzy Stempowski — my greatest discovery of this year; the man I have worshiped these 8 months for his incredibly concise style and phenomenally rich texts; the man who only wrote when he had something to say — and only what he had to say, with the result that his prose reads like a scrumptious feast of thought.

But now I have reached the end and, it turns out, he did not have all that much to say:  what he did have to say was interesting, and he said it, and I understood it, and I thank him.  We are all of us limited in how much we can grasp; and perhaps the turgid, purple, convoluted prose of the others is needed to obfuscate that poverty.  (Certainly Mann’s prose creates a mysterious, impenetrable sense of depth — a depth whose wholly illusory nature his Diaries ruthlessly expose).

When we reveal ourselves in classical, Spartan simplicity we turn out to be small, anemic, thin, rather uninteresting… like plucked range chickens – rather skeletal once shorn of our fluff.


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