But the very difficulty to me, by itself leads to probability that I fail.

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Tenos

Senior Member
Arabic
When Charles Darwin sent the manuscript of his controversial book, Origin of Species, to his friend and fellow naturalist, J. D. Hooker, to tell him his opinion, he in turn wrote telling him about the obscurity of its style. Thus, in the next letter Darwin said:

Thank you for telling me about obscurity of style. But on my life no nigger with lash over him could have worked harder at clearness than I have. But the very difficulty to me, by itself leads to probability that I fail. Yet one lady who has read all my M.S. has found only 2 or 3 obscure sentence.1 But Mrs. Hooker having so found it, makes me tremble.

In the sentence in bold he says that the difficulty of the book or style might lead to his failure. But when he says "the very difficulty to me" does he mean from his point of view, or that the book subject matter was difficult, even to him, the author? :rolleyes:
 
  • lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Yes. He means the very fact that he finds it difficult (and tries so hard) to make his meaning clear in his writing tends to result in his failing to achieve that clarity.
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    But the very difficulty to me, by itself leads to probability that I fail. - I'm trying too hard. :D
     
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