Communicator (communicator) wrote,
Communicator
communicator

A reader's manifesto

I enjoyed this article, which rips modern literary prose to pieces.

In everyday life many people value the use of words to talk around a subject of importance, without committing to any definite assertion, to the extent that this use of language has become a standard of linguistic facility. One basks in the fluidity of sentences, without having to confront the emotion of any particular event or opinion.

In fact the cult of the 'beautiful sentence' is a symptom of this malaise in my opinion.

Anyway, it's a long article, but I enjoyed it because the author calls up examples, and scrutinises them ruthlessly. What does this say? Are these good choices of words?

What about this for example:

Partridge black, small, a restless traveler across the slope of life, an all-night talker; Mercalia, second wife of Partridge and the color of a brown feather on dark water, a hot intelligence; Quoyle large, white, stumbling along, going nowhere. (this is by Proulx)

Is this the best kind of writing? Would we stand for this in genre literature? What happened to show don't tell? Is craftsmanship so despised?
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