Who Said it Better?
Shakespeare, Boethius, or Ovid?
Here are the winning words:
“For truth itself does not have the privilege to be employed at any time and in every way; its use, noble as it is, has its circumscriptions and limits.”
Montaigne is the winner in this contest. He recognizes that truth in and of itself is a good thing, but he also suggests that it has its limits – its constraints. This is an unspoken understanding of humanity. One shouldn’t always tell the truth because sometimes the unvarnished truth may cut someone to the quick. Voltaire, on the other hand, provides a clear definition of what truth is, but his words don’t bring forth the reality of the human condition. When you are considering what makes good writing you must understand that when the words reflect an understanding of humanity therein lies good writing. If a writer knows people, the chances are good that he or she will be a good writer.