Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Lively Dead Old White Men

From a set of character sketches of the men who composed the US Constitution, this sparkling estimate of one of them by chronicler William Pierce:

I had often heard that he was a great Orator, but I found him an indifferent Speaker. With an affected air of wisdom he labors to produce a trifle, -his language is irregular and incorrect, -his flourishes (for he sometimes attempts them), are like expiring flames, they just shew themselves and go out; -no traces of them are left on the mind to clear or animate it. He is, however, a good writer...


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2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I did not read the link so I might not know quite what is going on here but this seems like pissy snark to me. How can one be a good writer and be such a terrible one as described in the quote? Good writers do stick and do animate. If neither of those things happen, the so called writer didn't really write anything, just scribble pretty. Apparently, one can be a good writer and a bad one at the same time. Sounds like liberal syncretism to me. I am not going to the link as I am lazy as a title 9 black but, do tell me if I am wrong about the quote's origins, I would like to know.

-A

DrAndroSF said...

Ah, well, -A, the link is crucial. The writer was one of the men at the Constitutional Convention of 1787, who is known mainly for his "in vivo" character sketches of his fellow delegates as they were locked up in that hot stuff place for 4 summer months in Philly. Very entertaining and worth a quick read. No liberal, he.

He critiques the man in question as a bad speaker, but a good writer. And does it rather entertainingly IMHO.

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