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Reflections of a working writer and reader



Abandoning Anne Bronte

I was reading Anne Bronte’s Agnes Grey for the first time when I came across this sentence on page 38.

I returned, however, with unabated vigour to my work – a more arduous task than anyone can imagine, who has not felt something like the misery of being charged with the care and direction of a set of mischievous turbulent rebels, whom his utmost exertions cannot bind to their duty; while at the same time, he is responsible for their conduct to a higher power, who exacts from him what cannot be achieved without the aid of the superior’s more potent authority: which, either from indolence, or the fear of becoming unpopular with the said rebellious gang, the latter refuses to give.

I read the passage again, and then again, before putting the book to one side and beginning to look for another.

3 Responses to “Abandoning Anne Bronte”

  1. Jim Murdoch says:

    I love writing sentences like that. Very few get passed by my wife, however, with one exception, a story in a single sentence of 1000+ words – I forget exactly how many. That was fun to write. I find that I think in very long sentences indeed. They work fine in my head but they’re always murder to punctuate when I try transcribing them.

  2. john baker says:

    I can’t deal with that kind of writing, Jim. I didn’t hurl the book at the wall, although I have done that on occasion. It seems like willful obfuscation. Kindness allows me to relegate it to a different age and allow a degree of redemption, but even that doesn’t stop the blood boiling inside.

  3. jam says:

    though it may sound tingling at first, but eventually you’ll get used to the angle of the line and verbiage. Cheers always.