Against Concision, i.e., a Critical Evaluation of the Elliptic Style

Take Hemingway. People always think that the reason he's easy to read is that he is concise. He isn't. I hate conciseness -- it's too difficult. The reason Hemingway is easy to read is that he repeats himself all the time, using 'and' for padding.
That's Tom Wolfe, from Michelle Kerns's "The 50 best author vs. author put-downs of all time, Part 2" and not otherwise sourced. The quote nicely demonstrates Marcel Reich-Ranicki's wisdom on the issue: If there's one group of people whose negative evaluations of fiction writers you shouldn't believe, it's fiction writers. That's because they have a strong tendency to see their own approach to literature as the one best way and view all digressions from it as mistakes. Wolfe's approach is nicely summarized in his introduction to The Bonfire of the Vanities, which I strongly recommend even if you won't agree. And here's Wolfe's "The 'Me' Decade and the Third Great Awakening", which has much of sociological interest.

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