Plain writing is by no means easy writing. The mot juste is an intellectual achievement. There is nothing relaxed about the pace of this prose; it is as restricted and taut as the pace of lyric poetry. The short sentences of plain prose have a good deal of blank space around them, as lines of lyric poetry do, and even as the abrupt utterances of Beckett characters do. They erupt against a backdrop of silence. These sentences are - in an extreme form of plain writing - objects themselves, objects which invite inspection and which flaunt their simplicity. [...] this prose has one supreme function, which is not to call attention to itself, but to refer to the world.
This prose is not an end in itself, but a means. It is, then, a useful prose. Each writer of course uses it in a different way. Borges uses it straightforwardly, and as invisibly as he can, to think, to handle bare ideas with control: