The Modern Prose Style
DOI link for The Modern Prose Style
The Modern Prose Style book
From the purely literary standpoint the prime achievement of the age was the creation of a new prose style. Though there was also a new poetry and a new drama, it was in the prose of journal, essay, treatise, and novel that the fresh thought found its most perfect incarnation. The literature of the eighteenth century may therefore be regarded, from one point of view, as a vast engine for the diffusion of the new ideas. For this end it created new forms and animated them with a new spirit. The two forces that, beyond all others, have formed the language and literature of modern times have been science and democracy. More powerful in moulding the modern style than science was democracy—the growth in numbers, that is, of the reading public. Ever since the invention of typography in Europe, the press had been reckoned the chief avenue to knowledge and the prime instrument for appealing to public opinion.