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· Pointed Takes on Style Delineated ·

· The Log ·

The subject is style — broad enough for wayward rambling, sharp enough for bright talk. Since my stylus today is but a blinking cursor, you needn't worry: you won't be impaled if, indeed, · You Got Style ·

These logs are occasional takes on particular points of style. My delineation will always start with an agreeably passing glance, or maybe critically pointed nod, at some styled or half-styled piece of wit or wisdom and then, down the line, pass words on to you for comment or trackbacking.

Fiction, poetry, philosophy, news, even mundane trade publications — all offer occasions for · You Got Style · Whether old or new, read and enjoy them. You might even find an apt forum for discussion.

 · The Real Thing ·

· The Logger ·

I'm not the logger regarding you at left although I admit to living and working among tall trees. I'm an old teacher with annual growth rings too many to count, "blown upon by all the winds that pass and wet with all the showers" of Washington State's Olympic Peninsula. Logging was once the main calling here, and an honored tradition now.

Wet with all the showers

My writing is unfortunately affected by too much old book learning, the revenge of dead trees upon the living. The books I have at least retain something of the cool, ever-green dampness of the out-of-doors hereabouts. My library shelves are lined with hundreds of semi-mildewy texts, and my floor strewn with many more: philosophy and literature (my teaching subjects), science and mathematics, a bit of art and music, and a few of the more necessary tech manuals.

· The Logo ·

 · You Got Style ·

Text isn't everything, of course; beyond it lies the still wider world of images. Quill.gif I found at Foothill College, "located in the heart of Silicon Valley" as they claim, and I shamelessly stole it. I reasoned we were co-workers in some larger Language Arts Division.

Their quill happily catches the point of stylish writing well — participating in inky materiality and airy spirituality at once: technologically dipped and intellectually rising. For those with bookish eyes, the spectacles double that point. I hope you like my logo.

· The Logos ·

Naturally, there is also logic here, and grammar and rhetoric, too — trivial pursuits all.  Think of grammar, rhetoric, and logic as the triple crossroads where Sophocles' Oedipus first began unconsciously to lose his way with fate.

With those pursuits in view, Geoffrey H. Hartman once rightly said of style: "Style is an index of how the writer deals with the consciousness of mediation. Style is not cognitive only; it is also recognitive, a signal betraying the writer's relation, or sometimes the relations of a type of discourse, to a historical and social world. To say that of course words are a form of life is not enough: words at this level of style intend a statement about life itself in relation to words, and in particular to literature as a value-laden act."  Geoffrey H. Hartman, The Culture of Criticism, PMLA, Vol. 99, No. 3 (May 1984), 371.

That's quite a mouthful, but it means, I think: "In the beginning was the word" — and of course it's still with us now in · You Got Style ·

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