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The writings of Réginald-Jérôme de Mans - Page 3

post #31 of 38
...just found this thread, there really are too many topics on SF to keep track of all. RJ is the only reason I casually visit ASW anymore. Will is far too interested in pictures of himself and the store's offerings to inform his readers. I used to visit him to learn and he had much to say for the impressionable young man. This latter-day Will is a grinning shadow. As a non-native dabbler in English, I enjoy finding writers who force me to pick up a dictionary. RJ is one of these, with a seemingly endless array of quote-worthy sentences. I'll conclude with one.

‘The short, rather baffling book Drake’s 1, described by its printer as a brochure for Drake’s, attempts to show a variety of Drake’s’ different offerings for a worshipful public of readers who don’t need to know how to read – the preferred audience of fashion writers.’
post #32 of 38
Originally Posted by unbelragazzo View Post

Rich and distinct is not the same as arcane. If you don't think the phrase "opportunistic buggery" (to quote RJM's most recent post) is rich and distinct, I can't help you. If what you really value is a writer who makes his readers play go fetch in the dictionary, then you share the taste of undergraduates and academics, who rank among the most ridiculed members of society precisely because they speak with the intention to impress or confuse, rather than enlighten and entertain. To use Paul Krugman's phrase when describing Newt Gingrich, they sound like what a stupid person thinks a smart person sounds like. Obscure words are to "intellectuals" what exclamation points are to teens: they are the magician's patter meant to hide the secret that there is actually nothing of value being said.

Go back and read Shakespeare. Or better yet, just remember his most famous lines. He rarely used long words composed of many Latin roots. But his vocabulary was rich and distinct. I think Shakespeare would have been proud of "opportunistic buggery" had it crossed his mind.

Writing well is not a contest to use as many fancy words as you can. It's an attempt to create vivid images in the mind of your reader, to convey a story or information in a way that's clear and memorable. Stop learning SAT words nobody cares about. Learn the gradations in meaning between "annoy" "fluster" "nag" "bother" "gall" and "irk" and you might be on your way to writing something worth reading.
He certainly has an opinion. I find him a bit showy and flamboyant.
post #33 of 38
I did not need to click on the thumbs up on the post above to know who left it.
post #34 of 38
That kind of defeats the purpose of him being showy.
post #35 of 38

Not quite to my taste. Yes, I do enjoy his use of vocabulary, but his sentence structure suffers a bit and could use some rearrangement/pruning. A sentence like "Sprezzatura, as described by Castiglione, and as used in art history, the only discipline where I’d encountered it prior to the Sprezzatourette’s outbreak, was an art of studied nonchalance." belongs in spoken language, not in written text - there are better ways of compacting information in a sentence than just piling phrases on top of each other. It just gets tiresome to read, no matter how rich and distinct the word choice. It bogs the writing down, disrupting the flow, and ironically evokes the very sprezzaturic perversion he is arguing against.

post #36 of 38

A favorite of mine was RJMan's post on Camps de Luca:


There's an interview with him here:

An index of his Styleforum posts:


I've always greatly valued his insights into the world of French tailoring and style.

post #37 of 38

Does anyone know whats happened to his writings on A Suitable Wardrobe?  All the links time out on me.

post #38 of 38
A Suitable Wardrobe moved recently - Google it up for the new address.
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