I had a work read today that was an oddity of a historical novel. I suspect some of what I read will stay with me for quite some time.
So, in honor of that read, here’s a meme I found at So Many Books
List some of your favorite words:
Scintillate. Concatenation. Vernacular. Epidemiology.
What’s your favorite maxim or proverb?
“Everyone knows that a fairy tale starts out ‘Once Upon A Time.’ But if you’re a truck driver, the best stories start out, ‘You’re not going to believe this shit.'” (From the excellent documentary Who the #$% is Jackson Pollock?)
What’s your favorite quotation?
“Not a whit, we defy augury. There is a special providence in the fall of a sparrow. If it be now, ’tis not to come; if it be not to come, it will be now; if it be not now, yet it will come – the readiness is all. Since no man, of aught he leaves, knows what is’t to leave betimes, let be.” – Hamlet, Act V, Scene 2
What’s your favorite first line of a novel?
“It was a dark and stormy night.” – A Wrinkle in Time, Madeleine L’Engle
Give an example of a piece of description that’s really pleased you in your reading lately:
“I have never known the world without Netty, so her personal characteristics seemed to me for a long time to be ordained and not matters on which likes or dislikes had any bearing. She was, and is now, below medium height, so spare that all her tendons, strings, and muscles show when they are at work, noisy and clumsy as small people sometimes are, and of boundless overheated energy. Indeed, the impression you get from Netty is that there is a very hot fire burning inside her. Her skin is dry, her breath is hot and strong an suggests combustion, though it is not foul. She is hot to the touch, but not moist. Her complexion is a reddish-brown, as though scorched, and her hair is a dark dry-red–not carroty but a withered auburn. Her responses are quick, and her gaze is a parched glare. Of course I am used to her, but people who meet her for the first time are sometimes alarmed and mistake the intensity of her personality for some furious, pent-up criticism of themselves. Caroline and Beesty call her the Demon Queen. She is now my housekeeper, and considers herself my keeper.”
Which five writers do you particularly admire for their use of language?
Shirley Jackson, Margaret Atwood, Kathleen Norris
And are there writers whose style you really dislike?
Jonathan Lethem and any others of his style-heavy hipster ilk
What’s the key to really fine writing, in your opinion?
Where the prose serves the story with beauty and style without calling attention to itself. Make me want to read every word even as you make me want to keep turning the pages.