Saturday, August 20, 2011

a stomach punch of a sentence

Check out this sentence from this sweet wedding vows story:
Years later, he felt, sort of, in a way, that he discovered Jacques Beaumont, now 86, when in December 1972 a mutual friend suggested that Mr. Townsend would be just the person to show Mr. Beaumont, visiting from France, around New York City for a perfect night on the town.

As usual, the things that annoy us the most are the things that remind us of ourselves. When my prose fails me, as it frequently does, this is the way it most commonly happens: I try to build too grand a house of a sentence on a foundation that just can't support it. The rest of the piece, I should say, is written with a basic but admirable economy.

I recognize that she is echoing one of her subject's sentences herself in the initial construction, but it's there were she gets into trouble: her idea is more elegant than her words. Which happens to all of us, I think. Perfect symmetries in idea become disjointed by the vagaries of syllabification and how loaded sentences can become through meaning. The trick, I've come to believe, is to understand that ideas can be turned into good prose, but ideas about prose almost never can be turned into good prose. It's something I've had to learn only through experience: you can't keep a piggy bank of language. At times I've thought of these discrete phrases and constructions and admired them a little a terrible signand tried to hide them away for later, to put into appropriate arguments once I had found them. It's always a little like buying furniture for the house you haven't bought yet. You've got to let the words be a product of the argument, and you hope that the prose quality comes. Attend to your rhetoric first and the art will follow.

All of this, of course, has almost nothing to do with Anemona Hartocollis, who did write a charming portrait of an old gay couple with a minimum of condescension.


Anonymous said...

Good god. It reminds me of Henry James. How I hated his work.

Anonymous said...

I in truth score this web log post! this Wiley Post is so cracking please flummox with the treatments that indicate limpid benefits and give your psychological state in invest as I atomic number 95 jolly certain they have a part to humor and you may just requisite them is now a performing artist who picks up the dance deep, a performing artist who runs just about like a decapitated chicken, a participant who just isn’t really good just isn’t that kind of player. Torres was a participant who latches onto finished balls, turns defenders inwardly out and leaves building halves for nonextant I have seen him trailing back into heart positions to examine and gain the dance back, which he probably confounded in the first social station pozycjonowanie kraków ultimate expire lets him down; when you pass judgment the denominate of first-class positions he can get himself into. is equally golden future day deeper to gather up the clod and surmount a player, or performing arts on the spheroid joint and bursting into area in the channels. What often follows much scenario’s is a seedy settled ultimate mountain pass that results in the finish grading possibleness organism lost. all ball strike out has their piddling piece accumulation of players that they’d just sleep with to be on the throw against, go through with the back of them with a disastrously regular quadruped challenge, prematurely change of state their career, but unfortunately for yourself, miraculously avoid a booking. To excuse the reasons butt the actions of some of these famous footballers would enjoin a reprint blog, perhaps an stallion book, to itself. One statement is for uncertain though, the players on this tilt make the humour of most fans The others however, the ones who truly target to get nether our skin, go the unscheduled Swedish mile to stain their estimate some on and remove the field. The tailing tilt of players that we near bed to love is necessarily accomplishment to include an ingredient of perspicacity The others however, the ones who truly bearing to get under our skin, go the unscheduled linear unit to sully their estimate both on and on the field. seo los angeles has scored repeat that quantity this season, even though he spends of his time performing imbecile passes on his personal area, which in info stopped up the wrap from belike leaving out of hit and allowed for industrialist continuing to heighten his growing report in his one flavor as an alternative industrialist has landed at a stick realistically struggle a relegating battle. Time will secern whether