1. Footnotes are the voiceover of books. They serve to be informative and are illuminating when done right. Mostly they’re done poorly and are distracting and stupid. And don’t even get me started on endnotes.*
2. My favorite style of writing is the kind employed by Truman Capote, George Orwell, my girl Mary Renault: clear, simple, yet evocative. I don’t mean terse like Hemmingway (though I should give him a try again) and I get put off but extremely flowery language and extended metaphors that go on way too long. I don’t like sitting there wondering “did he ACTUALLY turn into a bird or does he just feel feather-y today?” I just finished In Cold Blood and it feels like a standard piece of journalism but once and a while I would sit back and think “this is actually incredible writing.” And I thought a guy like Truman Capote would be a show-off.
*The only person allowed to do footnotes carte blanche in Terry Pratchett.