Literature of Deception
By Jonathan Bluestein
I have spent this evening, scanning through a handful of mystical writings of the 19th-20th centuries, such as Aleister Crowley's 'The Book of the Law'. Such works pain the eyes and sadden the heart due to their silliness, and the time wasted even bothering to review them.
For thousands of years, many religious and spiritual literary traditions have covered their mediocre texts with excuses about hidden meanings or intentions to only be revealed to initiates. Though at times such things do exist between the lines, they stand not to justify the sub-par language or purposely-vague phrasings which they had utilized.
Poor literature has no excuse. Wherein one can explain himself well face-to-face, then he can do so in writing too, and most human adults survive by their ability to communicate adequately. Whomever can speak with even modest eloquence, and has learned how to write, can produce decent prose. There are those for whom a page requires but minutes, and for others hours. Yet I too was not a quick author before having honed the skill for several years.
Thus it is my contention, that all literature should be self-evident, and coherent. There are those who, for various reasons, feel that they must keep what they know from others. In such a case, is it not best to refrain from writing it down to begin with? But assuming it is to be written, of what use are convoluted language and cryptic expressions? Either keep the papers themselves away from the masses, or better yet - express yourself in a way which is both palatable and holds unto deeper meanings, at the same time.
Herein my criticism is not necessarily directed towards something like the Old Testament, with which the main barrier is the archaic nature of the wording and the grammar, and the abysmal translations made of it to languages such as English, German and Chinese. My uproar is primarily aimed at those works of the past 500 years (and a few older ones), created in times when humans should, could and ought to have known better.