Someone close to me, much to my annoyance, has for years insisted that the same applies equally to writers who lay claim to logic, argument or worldly judgment. Writing – any writing – is like knitting, he says. It’s an unintellectual knack that some people have naturally, and which develops astonishingly with practice, but which lots of clever people can’t do.
This has always annoyed me profoundly, as it is meant to, but I feel forced to agree that there may be something in it. We should be careful, both readers and writers, of the bewitchment of language: it can often mean less than you might think.
There\’s a lot of truth in that. Think of cogent, convincing, writing as a branch of rhetoric rather than the revealed truth I think.