Just to offer my piece *as* a (relatively) new and unsophisticated Eliot
reader -- I didn't like Williamson's book very much at all (and actually
went so far as to write a negative review of it on Amazon). I considered
it wildly off-base in many respects, lacking in substance, and rather
enamoured with its own voice. It makes wild claims and then treats them as
though they were the only possible view, and rambles on at length on
apparently tenuous ideas. I think there are some people -- and some of
those on this list -- who believe that erudition is manifested in the
pontification of prolix linguistic mannerisms, in diametric opposition to
the exactitude, to wit: that it's better to have something to say and say
it clearly than to have little to say and to try to seem clever in saying it.
Only the views of an uncouth young man..