"It is our belief that no writer can improve his work until he discards the dulcet notion that the reader is feeble-minded, for writing is an act of faith, not a trick of grammar. Ascent is at the heart of the matter. A country whose writers are following a calculating machine downstairs is not ascending—if you will pardon the expression—and a writer who questions the capacity of the person at the other end of the line is not a writer at all, merely a schemer."
(E.B. White, An E.B. White Reader)
I love Henry James. He writes sentence I can get lost in. I like being lost in a work. Really lost, not just so completely immersed that the toast burns. Style is a gift we give each other.
I've developed a punctuation fetish. Largely as a result of having my English corrected.
I spend a lot of time studying the comma. In a punctuation book I love, the writer cautions against using too many commas, as the reader today has a short attention span and will not suffer these long sentences. The author's suggestion is to keep it simple. Vary sentence length, yes, but don't ask too much of the reader.
The authors I like ask a great deal from me. In reading them I attempt to meet those expectation. I am grateful to them for having the faith, not only in their own work, but in me, a dear reader. Books, and stories (when retold every season) allow you grow into them, to look over them, searching for lost moments and striving for more complete understandings.