The idealised plane of poetics
DOI link for The idealised plane of poetics
The idealised plane of poetics book
This chapter explores the ideal of clarity at a conceptual level. Through a conceptual analysis, the ideal of clarity is explored as it appears in authorial guidelines and manuals of style from natural science, social science, and the humanities. The analysis shows that the ideal of clarity is widely distributed across disciplinary borders and constitutes what I call the poetics of clarity. Yet, while the ideal of clarity is widely shared as normatively designating the good writing, the ideal is neither stable nor conceptually clear. Rather, the concept of clarity fluctuates between several potentially conflicting concepts, particularly readability, precision, and textual economy. This suggests that the poetics of clarity is not a harmonious unity, but a field of tension diffused between different notions of clarity.