Unformatted text preview: Franklin believed that good writing was smooth, clear, and short. It is an amusing commentary on the lesser talents of his critics that they have needed so many words — "simple," "clear," "terse," "limpid," "economical," "plain," etc. — to say that Franklin's prose met his personal criteria. The simplicity of the style is so dominant a characteristic, in fact, that the major efforts of some critics are spent pointing out exceptions to the rule. Some versions of the Autobiography do contain complex, unclear sentences, for example: Having emerged from the poverty and obscurity in which I was born and bred to a state of affluence and some degree of reputation in the world, and having gone so far through life with a considerable share of felicity, the conducing means I made use of, which, with the blessing of God, so well succeeded, my posterity may like to know, as they may find some of them suitable to their own...
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This note was uploaded on 11/28/2011 for the course ENG 1320 taught by Professor Bost during the Fall '09 term at Texas State.
- Fall '09