Torea Frey

Editor, writer, photographer, observer on the street.

Anarchism is Not Enough, Laura Riding

This 1928 treatise is strange and, at times, hard to follow, but Riding’s musings remain remarkably fresh. A few quick hits, to give you an idea of some of her arguments -- for instance, on writing and the blank slate:

“... literature is preferable to experience, since it is for the most part the closest one can get to nothing.”

Or, on precision in wordsmithing:

“Language is a form of laziness; the word is a compromise between what is possible to express and what is not possible to express. ... Prose is the mathematics of expression. ... Prose evades this problem [of communication] by making slovenly equations which always seem successful because, being inexact, they conceal inexactness."

She also has a renegade, take-no-prisoners view on matters of the heart:

"Love is simply a matter of history, beginning like cancer from small incidents. There is nothing further to be said about it."

Nothing further, then? I guess we’re dismissed.