I was wondering recently what the difference was between the academic writer, or the writer for pure information flow, such as a Journalist or a business consultant and the creative writers. Having been a bit of both in my time, i would have to say that Academic prose is regimented in a way that the flow of creative writing is not.
Form follows function in an Academic critique. It is almost computer like in its style....attempting to disseminate and inculcate the raw logistics of a situation or formulaic juxtaposition. Logos predominates in such a manner that pathos is all but eradicated from the work. No room for the subjective observer's quaint adjectives.
Short, terse, sentences. Created for nothing but pure information flow. Information that is grounded not in the perception of the observer, but in either of the extremes of pure fact, or meta-objectivity. It is true that at the higher end academic work, creative genius is encouraged, within the strictures formulated and set down in principle by the institutions themselves. Yet A Rousseau or Kierkegaardian approach would most certainly find itself ostracized and marginalized within today's academia, such has been the thorough and almost complete coup d’état of the Scientific method.
This Bleeding out of Philosophy's bastard child, back into almost every arena of the academic institutions has begun to threaten even those avenues of opinion beyond the ivory towers themselves. Journalists, once the harbingers of a subjective, opinionated truth, taken in measure by a balance of Logos, Ethos, and Pathos in varying concoctions are now forced into two bi-polar camps. Either it seems they are the drudge of learned scholastics, or they are the self styled sensationalists, eager to reap the benefits of a capricious capitalist public over and above any Logical necessity. In short they are either Scientists or absurdest opportunists. There are of course exceptions to this, but they are becoming increasingly few and far between. No longer the De Rigour of the Journal writer, they are the marginalized Pathos addicts....the Qualia freaks of the written word.
Pathos it seems has been sacrificed upon the alter of mass minded mendacity, with the high priest Logos wielding the dagger of a collective ethos, eager to cut out its heart.
The creative visionary however, in the form of the word-smith, despite having to battle these very same forces in the form of in-house publicist style....appears to be the last bastion of the profundity against this Wittgensteinian transcendental Logos.
For without the pathos and subjectivity of the personal observer, the creative genius of the artistic visionary is lost...and with it so to the perpetuation of life within society itself. For what is a society without creative vision , but dying!.....without the possibility of transcendent expression, all that is possible is that which exists within the confines of logos perceived and understood as it stands. A limited, finitely adaptable perceptually stagnant pool of human experience. No longer a steam flowing into an endless sea, but a damned and stagnant pool, doomed to wither and evaporate into a wasteland of regurgitated ideas and perceptions.
The creative writers trick, is to FEEL, the words that are written, not just cerebralize them, not just balance them against other competing agencies in a moralistic ethical equation. But to Internalize them , swim between the meanings of the rhythm, rhyme, and metre.....to dance upon the head of the syllogistic pin, and prick the consciousness into a transcendent moment of enlightenment, that leaps beyond the drab monotony of a gradual evolution and enters a brand new shell of certainty through some moment of enlightened punctuated equilibrium.
Without Pathos, vision is blind....let us hope that the blindfold is removed from this stultifying scientific Exegesis, at least in so far as the mass opinion of worthy journalists are concerned. In the meantime, let those that feel what they write not sacrifice themselves upon the same alter of expediency or economic necessity, that has taken so many of its kindred spirits.
© Richard Michael Parker 2009