Monday, May 18, 2009

Reading Wealth Of Nations While Catching Salmon

El General’ blogs at The Fixed Pie HERE:

On to the good stuff, my current readings. I have three things I am reading: The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, I Don't Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist, and then doing my regular devotionals with the old word. Really good stuff. I am having trouble with Smith because his writing is from another time, but if I read with my pen, like I usually do, I can re-read and make notes. Overall though, the stuff is right up my alley. I have heard it is perfectly paired with Smith's other book The Theory of Moral Sentiments; I will stick to one for now though.”

The author is a student, who seems to be between Alaska and North Carolina and into salmon fishing, big time, of whom and of which I know not more.

He refers to a common enough complaint, or regular apology about Smith’s writing style, of it being too ‘18th century’, as if that explains anything, which requires close attention. What I think is meant is that his sentence construction – in perfect English as she used to be wrote – tends to contain several sub-clauses, many semi-colons, hyphenations and page-long, or longer, paragraphs.

Whereas as in 21st-century Anglo-American discourse, English is almost tabloid – no sentence longer than five words (most of them under five letters), no paragraph longer than five sentences, no chapter longer than five pages (or thereabouts).
Yet he has found a way of dealing with it, using his pen to distil what he reads into meaningful parts and re-reading them. Excellent!

I wish him well, especially if he perseveres. If the toil becomes too much, he could also visit Lost Legacy and search through the expository posts on themes from Wealth Of Nations (and Moral Sentiments too). I shall drop him a note to this affect, and invite him to ask questions.


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