Amen and amen again! Thank you so much for stopping by and for your comment. Have a blessed and prosperous…
Last week we discussed that an author’s purpose comes from PIE – Persuade, Inform and Entertain. To subjugate this purpose writers may choose various writing formats, genres, and conversational languages. Further, we discussed how George Orwell thought there were four great motives for writing, at any rate for writing prose. The first is Sheer Egoism; he better described “Desire to seem clever, to be talked about, to be remembered after death, to get your own back on the grown-ups who snubbed you in childhood, etc., etc.” From here we will continue…
The aesthetic motive is very feeble…
(ii) Aesthetic enthusiasm. Perception of beauty in the external world, or, on the other hand, in words and their right arrangement. Pleasure in the impact of one sound on another, in the firmness of good prose or the rhythm of a good story. Desire to share an experience which one feels is valuable and ought not to be missed. The aesthetic motive is very feeble in a lot of writers, but even a pamphleteer or writer of textbooks will have pet words and phrases which appeal to him for non-utilitarian reasons; or he may feel strongly about typography, the width of margins, etc. Above the level of a railway guide, no book is quite free from aesthetic considerations.
(iii) Historical impulse. Desire to see things as they are, to find out true facts and store them up for the use of posterity.
iv) Political Purpose. Using the word ‘political’ in the widest possible sense. Desire to push the world in a certain direction, to alter other people’s idea of the kind of society that they should strive after. Once again, no book is genuinely free from political bias. The opinion that art should have nothing to do with politics is itself a political attitude.
It can be seen how these various impulses must war against one another, and how they must fluctuate from person to person and from time to time.”
And if you were sincerely paying attention you will notice Mr. Orwell gave you PIE in reverse. Sheer Egoism and Aesthetic enthusiasm are geared toward Entertain. Historical impulse is to Inform and Political purpose, no matter how wide or narrow the sense, lends to Persuade.
Just remember when you begin filling those white spaces be sure your literary pan has the right ingredients in that PIE.
Extracted from Why I Write by George Orwell.
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