Archive for May 22nd, 2009

Literary Criticism – 30 Years of Bob

As a college student, for the sake of your grade, you often submit to do many assignments that you would rather not partake in. One such assignment was the literary deconstruction of a 20th century poem.

In the renaissance, when the classical works were rediscovered, you only had the works to interpret from. You judged form and substance to gain what the author was trying to convey, and you wrote an essay on your findings. Most 20th century authors are still alive or have written later works to clarify just exactly what they wanted to say. However you occasionally come across authors, such as Bob, with works that say exactly what they mean. Yet this relic of the renaissance tortures students to this very day.

A few weeks back when the majority of the articles were Bob’s, I performed a readability test on the blog and I found that the ease of reading was on par with popular novels. This astounded me, since the same index said my writing was as easy to read as an academic paper. I started searching his books and articles for ideas and maybe find a way to help make my writing easier to read.

Bob says that it takes practice. I believe him but I wonder just how much Mephistophilis had to do with it.

Right now, I’m in the process of reading “A Plague on Both Your Houses” and two things have jumped out at me. The first is that Bob has been saying roughly the same thing for thirty some odd years. The second is the form and evolution of his style of writing.

Plauge, as far as formating goes, it is the antithesis to WOL. The paragraphs are long and there are no line breaks, which help to keep the eye from wandering. However, I found the tone of the book to be a bit more forceful. direct. energetic. Bob before he was tired.

WOL has a house style that is unique. For a decade the house style has been the same; short sentances, short paragraphs, lots of line breaks. Bob did this because he found that unorthodox writing styles help capture the attention of the reader better.