Florid Prose

Posted: April 20, 2015 in Spiritual Journey

If I ever get around to making a set of bingo cards for esoteric bollocks there are certain terms that will be on every card. Terms such as “quantum” and “vibrations” (albeit with a proviso that they are tolerable if referring to actual phenomena by a qualified physicist).

But chief amongst them will be “florid prose.”

Now, I don’t mean to say that I have a thing against florid prose per-se*, more that I have an issue with the term. You see if someone uses those two words it’s pretty much certain that they are talking disparagingly about somebody else’s writing (either explicitly or vaguely hinting and hand waving in certain folks’ direction) along with an assertion that the writer will do no such thing and will lay things out clearly, paint the writing on the goddess-damned wall, man!

I wouldn’t mind, if it weren’t for the fact that such statements are almost invariably followed by the kind of verbose writing that makes me think of the term’s ‘pot’, ‘kettle’, and racial insensitivity.

Case in point, I just finished reading “Apocalyptic Witchcraft” by Peter Grey. A book which unironically includes the line: “I have avoided archaic sounding language, ermine trimmed as it often is…” And I think with that line me and the book got off to a rather rocky start. This was definitely not the cheerful frankness of Stewart Farrar (whose book “What Witches Do” I also recently finished), which is a shame because, aside from the blatant piece of misrepresentation I bloody loved the rest of the book. It’s genuinely quite gripping, clear and obscure, florid but readable and the kind of thing that demands to be left not on a shelf but a night stand for repeated readings.

What’s my point? I guess it’s just this; if you’re going to be ermine trimmed, be ermine trimmed, don’t apologise for it, odds are it’s what I’m here for.

 

*That said I did at one point come out with the agonisingly hipstery statement “You haven’t really read Eliphas Levi until you’ve read him in the original French.” When what I meant to say was, “nobody’s really read Eliphas Levi because the translation was done by a colossal tit!

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