Posted by The Happy Tutor
Writing well under oppression. Excellent post on the rhetoric thereof, drawn from Wayne Booth and Roman examples. Vitia is a subtle thinker on these subjects. He understands but does not yet undertake coded or esoteric speech, addressing two audiences, at least one of which wishes the writer ill, for the very message the author conveys to the other. This is the world of esoteric speech, double talk, parables, just so stories, Uncle Remus, certain satires. We fall from the plain style into coded speech as from Eden into a World of Hurt. The plain style addressed to a brotherhood of like-minded and disinterested citizens is a strong fiction. We have to stop writing that way when every sentence is a de facto, or implicit lie, about the uber-audience which is no longer candid, no longer wishes us well, and is no longer particularly swayed by reason, or even willing to present itself for inspection. This is the audience that surveilles the web seeking to build a case, unjust as it may be, for treason. Be as candid, Vitia, as you please, so long as you remain, at botton deluded, out of the game, harmless. We are learning to write anew, and for higher stakes than ever, since our pseudononymous forefathers won their freedom, the freedom we are now losing, through pamphleteering. We call them Patriots now, those hot heads King George called Traitors. So from divided speech, addressed to one audience, under the noses of the other, One Nation indivisible under God. Likewise with Christ and his parables under the noses of the Roman army. From such dark speech came the moral certainties that today unite us. The Prince of Peace nailed again to a cross, the message unchanged, the Imperial context come round again. Forgive them they know not what they do.