Consejos de orden intelectual para Lorenzo Ramos / José Antonio Ramos Sucre

Advice of An Intellectual Order for Lorenzo Ramos

     Writing well comes down to writing exact expressions. Achieving the exact expression, requires knowing the dictionary quite well. One has to study the dictionary, know the greatest number of words and turns or phrases. Turns or phrases are learned by continuously reading Baralt. Grammar is learned by continuously reading Exposición sobre los casos y oraciones by Eduardo Benot, Hernando bookstore, Madrid, and also by consulting the section devoted to grammar in the Memento Larousse, an indispensable work that is sold at François Jarrin, Paris, Rue des Ecoles 48. Don’t confuse Memento Larousse with other works by the same Larousse. That one has small treatises on matters indispensable to a civilized man.
     French is dominated by constantly studying the French Ollendorf composed by Eduardo Benot, Hernando bookstore, Madrid.
     One learns English by means of the English Ollendorf composed by Eduardo Benot, Hernando bookstore, Madrid. Each English word is learned with its pronunciation and accentuation according to what is said in the Cuyás dictionary. The words are learned from Spanish for the foreign tongue: pan is bread, and not bread is pan. One has to educate the ear by reading English aloud. It seems to me that one must seek out an American or English teacher after one knows the entire Benot method.
     One must read preferring the major authors to minor ones, Virgil to Villaespesa. I recommend the Historia Universal by Juan Vicente González or the manuals by Duruy, who contains the entire universal history in six small manuals about each era (Middle Ages and, etc.).
     What is written should have a single adornment: that of exactitude. What is written should not cause an effect, alarm in the reader, the expression should never sound like a discourse, like declamatory and tribunal eloquence. Never, in what is said, done or written, should one call attention to oneself. That principal is the foundation of all social virtues.

{ José Antonio Ramos Sucre, Obra completa, Caracas: Biblioteca Ayacucho, 1989 }

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