I’ve written before about what I call the Superlative Style of Composition with regards to writing — where a writer blends conceptual and perceptual styles into the most persuasive style of writing. Let us take an example to illustrate this. I’m referring to Ergo talking about why India is not a tourist brochure.
The goal of the writer is to convey: “the predominant ethos of the Indian culture is not that of benevolence, friendliness, or rationality but the opposite of these.”
If one had chosen to write conceptually about this, it would probably have resulted in a dry essay on a purely “intellectual” level, to which many readers may not have responded at all. (If you’re wondering about the quotes around “intellectual”, I think it is an unfairly derided term. For more, read this).
Instead, observe the style of the composition: the writer intersperses perceptual experiences (in other words — what one experiences in a day-to-day life) with the conceptual inferences he draws from it.
This helps the reader understand and appreciate why the writer is drawing these conceptual conclusions from his experiences.
I’ve read tons of blog posts that either deal only with the perceptual (experience) level, or just simply conceptual ramblings, but very few that synthesize and harmonize the two. That is what I mean by the Superlative Style of Composition.
No surprises here, as Ergo gets the Intellectual Blogger Award from me!
- I am not saying one should agree with what is being said in this superlative style. My posts are about the styles of composition being used, not the content in them.
- Ergo has probably not read my posts about Styles of Composition, and is completely oblivious to what I’ve written about. This is good in terms of objectively assessing what I’ve written!