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Reflections of a working writer and reader



Posts added in November 2008

Forty Acres

an emblem of impossible prophecy, a crowd

dividing like the furrow which a mule has ploughed,

parting for their president: a field of snow-flecked

cotton . . .

Writing a Novel

I get dissatisfied. Dream a lot. Start taking notes. Get hung on things, concepts. Start actively seeking out metaphors. Write reams and dispose of it. Finally make a commitment and then go back on it 20 times. Try to seek out a point of view, first person, second person, third person. Stop doing other things, cut life down to something spartan . . .

My Name Is Red by Orhan Pamuk

The group of miniaturists are concerned with heresy? Islam has taken a stand against figuration in general and scorns the West’s preoccupation with the portrait, with the signing of paintings, and with the whole notion of individual style. Miniatures of exempted from this because they merely decorate the text and thereby avoid any iconic standing.

The introduction of perspective into Western painting brings up the possibility that a mosque far off would be smaller than a man, or his dog, close up. With perspective, people and things weren’t depicted according to their importance in Allah’s mind but as they appeared to the naked eye.

Out Stealing Timber VI

A month earlier her aunt had told her that the young men would come around once she started bleeding. And it had happened exactly as the old woman said. Ten days ago she had bled for the first time, though only for a day and a night. Hardly bled at all in fact, not what she had been led to expect. But two days after the little bleed a much bigger one had come, thick black curds slowed her down in her daily tasks and, especially in the mornings, they had been accompanied by a dolour and a dullness which invited her to see the world as nothing more than a graveyard.
And then, as suddenly as it had begun, only yesterday, the bleeding stopped. It ceased and the world began anew. And today the first young man was already arrived, summoned by a happening of which he could have no knowledge.

Presque vu LXXIII

You see this is what annoys me so much about grammar freaks. They act as if language is rendered completely incomprehensible by the odd misplaced apostrophe or semi-colon. But the things they get their knickers in a twist about are very rarely anything to do with actual meaning.