Beauty lies in simplicity

A person breaking free from all kinds of bondages, a baby’s smile, a rain’s drop on our cheek, a magnificent sunset are common everyday experiences that leave traces of aesthetic pleasure on us, since time immemorial. It is not a matter of how many times we ‘ve experienced them, they continue surprising us with their beauty.

No ornaments, no exaggerations, no complexity at all are needed here. These traces of beauty are eternally meaningful because they are simple. It is through simplicity that beauty becomes tangible, affecting us deeply. Otherwise, we wouldn’t be able to grasp it with our senses, mind and soul. It would be a “non-sense”.

The same applies to writing, to a significant extent. Every detail, recursion, flash back, description, narration, character, act, monologue or dialogue, should be there serving a specific purpose to the plot, to the final outcome. And it should be depicted in the simplest way possible, so that the event at hand reveals all its inherent beauty to the reader.

That is, many complex and highly refined things are written every day. But not everything gives us a chance to look straight into the very essence of beauty itself, in a way that penetrates our soul. And this is where simplicity ultimately serves.


(The argument discussed in this paper is, to some extent, inspired from the seminar lectures “Read & Write” taught by author Aris Maragkopoulos. More information may be found here:



Copyright © 2017. Athina Zografaki, All rights reserved.