On Brevity …

I have been trying to find an eloquent manner into which to encapsulate this concept for a while now and my last attempt was clunky at best … I had recently purchased a hardcover bound edition that combined BRAVE NEW WORLD and BRAVE NEW WORLD REVISITEDand lo and behold, there it was in black and white on the opening pages …

The soul of wit may become the very body of untruth. However elegant and memorable, brevity can never, in the nature of things, do justice to all the facts of a complex situation. On such a theme one can be brief only by omission and simplification. Omission and sim­plification help us to understand — but help us, in many cases, to understand the wrong thing; for our compre­hension may be only of the abbreviator’s neatly formu­lated notions, not of the vast, ramifying reality from which these notions have been so arbitrarily abstracted.

The opening paragraph of the forward to BRAVE NEW WORLD REVISITED by Aldous Huxley (1958)


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