Page:The Craftsmanship of Writing.djvu/218

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are, for instance, some branches of higher mathematics in which a person with a fair average knowledge of algebra and geometry will encounter no terms or symbols that are strange to his eye; and yet the meaning of what he reads will leave his mind absolutely blank. The difficulty in this case lies outside of any question of craftsmanship; it is inherent in the subject matter itself. When you come across a book or article of this type you have to recognize that it is not intended for you, or at least that you are not yet ripe for it. The novels of Mr. Henry James are one of the best possible instances of this type of book. Mr. James has mannerisms, many of them; he has a curious, and to some readers an exasperatingly confusing way of introducing all his modifiers, his provisos and saving clauses parenthetically before reaching the conclusion of his main sentence. But all of these things put to-