Wednesday, May 15, 2013

A Lesson in Good English Writing

“The People’s Romance: Why People Love Government (as Much as They Do)”
Daniel B. Klein in Independent Review, Volume X. No. 1. Summer 2005. p. 6, HERE:
 “I am an errant economist with no claim to mastery of the materials dealt with here. I can only say that the constellation outlined in this article is one that I discern as clearly as I see the Big Dipper, but the points of light themselves wax and wane depending on how one gazes.”
The classic beauty of Daniel’s use of this simile struck me immediately.  It is the most arresting sentence I have read for years and shows Daniel’s skill in writing and composition.
The essay itself is worth reading too. 
You will not read much like it from the run-of-the-mill economists we normally come across, or have to count ourselves amongst, whether you agree or not with Daniel’s theme.  Good writing is always worth noting and praising, and trying, even if hopelessly, to match.
Thank you Daniel Klein.


Blogger Marina Uzunova said...

Thank you for referring to this article. I recently started reading Philip Mirowski's "More Heat than Light" and, having already surfed through (as that is how it feels to read through such good prose) a couple of his published articles, I'm convinced he must be one of the most linguistically gifted not just economists but historians and writers of this age.

7:08 pm  

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