A Sacred Lesson for Writers
“As for your use of language: Remember that two great masters of language, William Shakespeare and James Joyce, wrote sentences which were almost childlike when their subjects were most profound. ‘To be or not to be?’ asks Shakespeare’s Hamlet. The longest word is three letters long. Joyce, when he was frisky, could put together a sentence as intricate and as glittering as a necklace for Cleopatra, but my favorite sentence in his short story ‘Eveline’ is just this one: ‘She was tired.’ At that point in the story, no other words could break the heart of a reader as those three words do.
“Simplicity of language is not only reputable, but perhaps even sacred. The Bible opens with a sentence well within the writing skills of a lively fourteen-year-old: ‘In the beginning God created the heaven and earth.’”
—Kurt Vonnegut (1922-2007), writer, who would have turned 92 this week, from his essay, “How to Write with Style,” 1985. Image: Vonnegut with Pumpkin, a Lhasa Apso, Jill Kremetz, 1982
• Editorial Comment: Amen.
PeezPix by Ted Pease
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Ted Pease, Professor of Interesting Stuff, Trinidad, California. (Be)Friend The WORD
“Words are sacred. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones, in the right order, you can nudge the world a little.” —Tom Stoppard