domingo, 17 de abril de 2011

Caminhos de Floresta

There are books the sentences of which resemble highways, or even motor roads. But there are also books the sentences of which resemble rather winding paths which lead along precipices concealed by thickets and sometimes even along well-hidden and spacious caves. These depths and caves are not noticed by the busy workmen hurrying to the fields, but they gradually become known and familiar to the leisured and attentive wayfarer. For is not every sentence rich in potential recesses? May not every noun be explained by a relative clause which may profoundly affect the meaning of the principal sentence and which, even if omitted by a careful writer, will be read by the careful reader? Cannot miracles be wrought by such little words as "almost," "perhaps," "seemingly"? May not a statement assume a different shade of meaning by being cast in the form of a conditional statement? And is it not possible to hide the conditional nature of such a statement by turning it into a very long sentence and, in particular, by inserting into it a parenthesis of some length?

Leo Strauss. Persecution and the Art of Writing. Chicago University Press: 1952

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