Style of writing is the dark horse that on several occasions has the power to rise much above the realms of a storyline. One could distinguish between Charles Dickens’ and Oscar Wilde’s writing, relying entirely on their signature styles. Thankfully their intent soared much above petty ambitions and so we were gifted with several unique styles of writing!
An endless list of writers comes to mind who have been known for their word-crafting, even as I struggle to conclude my limited understanding of this subject of ‘simple vs. complex sentences’ where the latter is quietly headed towards extinction (or perhaps execution?).
I am also told that today’s readers suffer from a declining attention span and a plummeting patience level when it comes to reading, though scientific researches proudly announce the rising IQ of every successive generation – so where is the degeneration happening? Or as the locals in Singapore put it ‘so how’? I remain uncertain, however, if of all this is completely true and if so, would catering to those readers be the primary objective of any writer? Who are our readers? When did literature become so time-bound? And if that were true, then why haven’t the works of Dickens or Woolf become obsolete yet? Or perhaps the right question here would be: should literature be governed by such relatively trivial requirements?
My vote, even if it shouldn’t or wouldn’t count, would still be cast for the supposition that literature or any art form should not be burdened with the need to either cater to or reform its readers or audience. And in case that should happen, it should be based on the writers’ discretion (a whole new point of discussion, I am afraid, though not completely unrelated to my ramblings). For me, writing is expressing and discovering one’s own signature style just like painting and dancing. Literature thrives for Literature’s sake.
Thankfully life has wantonly led me to the unapologetic guardians of the world of uninhibited sentences and intricate writing styles, and so I have quite willingly submitted myself to playing the quintessential admirer and loyal crusader of complex sentences. I am perfectly aware of the fact that we dwell in a world where our physical forms can be trimmed and restructured to suit popular demand, and so to hope that a sentence would escape a similar predicament would perhaps seem rather naïve. Having said that, I do not feel the slightest hint of trepidation in announcing that both simple and complex sentence structures could equally represent the beauty and joy of the ever-expanding dimensions of expressing one’s self in words by experimentation, if only we could retain our ability to defend and develop what comes most organically to us as writers.
Madhurima Duttagupta started her career as a journalist with The Times of India. She has, to her credit, over a hundred published works across several reputed national dailies like The Hindu, Deccan Herald and The Times of India. After moving to Singapore in 2007 she has held senior editorial positions for leading lifestyle magazines. Madhurima, who is also an active blogger (http://madhurimaduttagupta.wordpress.com), has recently authored a book titled ‘Goddess & Whore’.