Writing Well Takes Effort


Writing complicated prose is overhyped. Far harder is taking your ideas and putting them into concise, simple, and short form takes real work.

Here’s an especially bad example of clear writing. It’s an excellent example of obfuscated writing. The opinions in this sentence (yes, it’s a single sentence) are not important for this analysis, only the fact that understanding them takes a hell of a lot of mental gymnastics.

It’s by Judith Butler, who is allegedly famous for this sort of thing.

“The move from a structuralist account in which capital is understood to structure social relations in relatively homologous ways to a view of hegemony in which power relations are subject to repetition, convergence, and rearticulation brought the question of temporality into the thinking of structure, and marked a shift from a form of Althusserian theory that takes structural totalities as theoretical objects to one in which the insights into the contingent possibility of structure inaugurate a renewed conception of hegemony as bound up with the contingent sites and strategies of the rearticulation of power.”

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