Sunday, December 20, 2009

December 20: Egypt Visited by the First Reporter (Vol. 33, pp. 7-17)

The editors of the Reading Guide compare Herodotus to a modern newspaper reporter. Not quite. The beauty of good newspaper writing is that it is made up of short, active sentences filled with strong nouns and verbs and just a touch of adjectives.

Herodotus' "An Account of Egypt" may be well reported, but like much of the writing in the Harvard Classics, it is verbose and convoluted. Maybe in another time, people wrote and spoke like that. But to modern sensibilities, most of what's in the Harvard Classics is impenetrable.

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