Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Surprise - Writers Can (and do) Bitch

"I walked over each farmer's premises, tasted his wild apples, discoursed on husbandry with him, took his farm at his price, at any price, mortgaging it to him in my mind; even put a higher price on it — took everything but a deed of it — took his word for his deed, for I dearly love to talk — cultivated it, and him too to some extent, I trust, and withdrew when I had enjoyed it long enough, leaving him to carry it on." Thoreau, whose prose was immortalised in Chapter 2 of "Walden", and parrotted by 2 unfit vassals(present company included) -4 posts ago - also wrote the preceding sentence. The footnote goes on to inform us that:
'E.B. White wrote of this sentence: "A copy-desk man would get a double hernia trying to clean up that sentence for the management, but the sentence needs no fixing, for it perfectly captures the meaning of the writer and the quality of the ramble." '
The point? Great writing starts from trash level. In polite company, words which capture "the quality of the ramble".

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