Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Modesty by Proxy

The art or action of being modest on behalf of someone else. Typically a writer will take it upon himself to downplay the significance of another writer. This isn't necessarily the same as arrogance, although it is frequently labelled as such. When exercising Modesty by Proxy, the first writer isn't required to sing his own praises but merely to cast doubts on the worth of the work or character of the second writer, either with or without the second writer's knowledge. If done without malice, or with malice very carefully concealed, Modesty by Proxy can be (or seem to be) a useful and positive service.