“This is how innovation in art operates: one re-uses formulae confirmed by previous success or throws them off-balance by combining them with other, in priciple incompatible, formulae, by amalgamations, quotations, ornamentations, pastiche. One can go as far as kitsch or the grotesque. One flatters the ‘taste’ of a public that can have no taste, and the eclecticism or a sensibility enfeebled by the multiplication of available forms and objects. In this way one thinks that one is expressing the spirit of the times, whereas one is merely reflecting the spirit of the market.” –Lyotard, “The Sublime and the Avant-Garde”
“Style takes its final shape more from attitudes of mind than from principles of composition, for as an elderly practitioner once remarked, ‘Writing is an act of faith, not a trick of grammar.’ This moral observation would have no place in a rule book were it not that style is the writer, and therefore what a man is, rather than what he knows, will at last determine his style. If one is to write, one must believe–in the truth and worth of the scrawl, in the ability of the reader to receive and decode the message. No one can write decently who is distrustful of the reader’s intelligence, or whose attitude is patronizing…It is now necessary to warn the writer that his concern for the reader must be pure: he must sympathize with the reader’s plight (most readers are in trouble about half of the time) but never seek to know his wants. The whole duty of a writer is to please and satisfy himself, and the true writer always plays to an audience of one. Let him start sniffing the air, or glancing at the Trend Machine, and he is as good as dead, although he may make a nice living.” –E.B. White, “An Approach to Style”, in…well, you know.