Saturday, October 13, 2007

I have just acquired a copy of The Summing Up by Somerset Maugham. It is out of print and I needed to search for a copy second-hand. The nice people at Albris found one for me. It is older than me!

The Summing Up is a reflection by Somerset Maugham on his life and writing. It is not and was never intended to be an autobiography as some seem to think! It is written in 77 short chapters, which read much like blog entries. Somerset Maugham writes that the three principles he abides by in his writing are:

that it should be clear
that it should be simple and
that it should sound right

Admirable qualities for blogs!

It would also help if theologians adopted them. I read quite a lot of academic stuff and the writers of it seem to think that if their work isn't complicated and difficult, it won't sound academic enough. Being profound isn't the same as being incomprehensible.

One of the benefits of age is that I now have more confidence, when I don't easily understand what an academic writes, to blame him or her rather than myself!

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