Do What I Mean, Not What I Say

Good prose always strives to be clear and direct. Or so we all think now. Arthur Melzer’s remarkable book, Philosophy Between the Lines, shines a floodlight on a topic that has been cloaked in obscurity: esoteric writing. Using such techniques as deliberate contradiction, parable and allusion, authors who write esoterically craft texts so that they operate on two levels.

There is a surface message intended for the ordinary or inattentive reader and a deeper meaning, often diametrically opposed to the first, that is addressed to the discerning reader.

Read the full article | The Wall Street Journal

A fresco from the Villa of the Mysteries, Pompeii. Getty Images

A fresco from the Villa of the Mysteries, Pompeii. Getty Images

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