Chirography21 Jun 2007
It’s been seven months since my last exam. Seven months since using a pen was compulsory. Tomorrow afternoon could be interesting… at least it should be relatively warm due to the time of day. I’ve studied a little but not absurdly lots. Not too stressed, truth be told. Apparently arts degrees are a waste of time, anyway, so I have no reason to bother myself. I need to disappear for a while and work a lot, but that would close so many doors and I just know I’d never come back (to most of them). That moves from the realm of “miss” into “lament”. I came across a wonderful word in the marginalia to a certain poem of Eliot’s, wherein “high sentence” is explained as “sententiousness” (ironically, I had to find a definition for the explanation). The OED renders it thus:
- Full of meaning; also, of persons, full of intelligence or wisdom. Obs.
- Of the nature of a â€˜sentenceâ€™ or aphoristic saying.
- Of discourse, style, etc.: Abounding in pointed maxims, aphoristic. In recent use sometimes in bad sense, affectedly or pompously formal.
- Of persons: Given to the utterance of maxims or pointed sayings. Now often in bad sense, addicted to pompous moralizing.
- Of a symbol: Expressive of a whole sentence; opposed to verbal. Obs.
- Of composition: Consisting of detached sentences. Obs.
This word must get more of a workout. But if I weren’t studying arts, obscurantic cant would be altogether frowned upon. I was reading someone’s blog the other day (in a fit of procrastination, no doubt) who held Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises to be a complete waste of time on account of the message of the book boiling down to “Humanity, you all suck and are powerless, etc.”. The blogger in question held it to be utterly redundant on account of Hemingway’s failure to offer a solution. It begs the “so what” question in its failure to propose action. Perhaps said blogger would do well to be a little more existentialist about literature. Literature serves as social entertainment at least as much as it serves as an avenue for problem resolution. And, if it’s any consolation to you, dear reader, if I were really feeling like a wanky arts student I would have made the word “problematise” (or one of its derivatives) a part of the previous sentence. There is hope for me yet (if only in that I loathe that word with a passion that escapes language itself, and along with that most who use it).
*tags under “long and wordy sentences”, as if there were ever a non-wordy sentence*