Ambitious writing in the eleventh century is nearly always obscure, full of heavy pedantries and strange words--the relics of the learning of a former age. Clarity was a quality achieved by the best writers of the eleventh century, but it was achieved with difficulty: we can appreciate the difficulties when we try to follow the arguments of so accomplished a writer as Berengar of Tours. He lacked the vocabulary for subtle argument and the writers who aimed at stirring the emotions lacked the art for doing so. Of course, limitations of language can themselves be a source of strength, and St. Anselm (alone among the writers of his century) was the master of a language equally capable of conveying profound and subtle argument as of expressing the outpouring of an intimate devotion. But his language could never form a model for others: it was a mirror of his own mind and sensibility, a finely polished language of carefully cultivated art. It was not a popular language.I look at my plans, and there's no place in them for learning to read eleventh-century Latin and making judgments about style. Of course, the road may swerve, and so forth.
-R.W. Southern, The Making of the Middle Ages. New York: Hutchinson's University Library, 1953. (215)
I'll note that Southern's not the only one who likes Anselm's style.