Monday, 12 September 2011

Reduced to their quintessence

From Wikipedia

Another favourite quote from the Spectator, this time complaining of essays padded out into books. One more issue we haven't resolved during the intervening 300 years.

Were all Books reduced thus to their Quintessence, many a bulky Author would make his Appearance in a Penny Paper: There would be scarce such a thing in Nature as a Folio: The Works of an Age would be contained on a few Shelves; not to mention Millions of Volumes that would be utterly annihilated.

The Spectator. July 23rd 1711

4 comments:

David Duff said...

It is, perhaps, one of the arguments in favour of blog posts that brevity and consiceness is of the very essence. Not always observed, of course, but one tends to skip quickly past the obviously longwinded.

Demetrius said...

Was the writer someone who struggled with Bishop Berkeley's early works?

James Higham said...

There's an essay and then there's a short-story and then there's a novel. Different creatures ... or should be.

A K Haart said...

DD - exactly.

D - well who wouldn't?

JH - the quote of course was from an essay writer.