Friday, February 4, 2011


All day long, or most of it, and well into the evening, I worked on paraphrasing Percy Shelley's A Philosophical View of Reform, rewriting it in my own language. This is for two reasons: one, his tendency towards long compound complex sentences, and sometimes second phrases, is, um, overly evident. (To be fair, he didn't publish the work, so it's not like he was sloppy about prepping it; and I don't write neatly when I'm drafting, either.) Two, it's really easy for one treatise on the rights of the poor and the oppression of the rich to sound like another, and to lose sight of the individuality of the author's perspective. Paraphrasing in detail is the best way that I've found to avoid this. I don't think it's ever served me badly. I finished the middle section today; tomorrow I'll tackle the shorter 1st and 3rd chapters, and I think they'll either go much faster, or that I've found my way sufficiently into Shelley's head for the paraphrasing not to be necessary.

It's often slow work, but I have to admit that it leads to good and useful insights. I'm very pleased with what I learned. But man, am I ever tired.

No comments:

Post a Comment