Wednesday, February 07, 2007

The right word...

To get the right word in the right place is a rare achievement. To condense the diffused light of a page of thought into the luminous flash of a single sentence, is worthy to rank as a prize composition just by itself...Anybody can have ideas--the difficulty is to express them without squandering a quire of paper on an idea that ought to be reduced to one glittering paragraph.



Blogger Jim Thompson said...

Ol' Sam Clemens knew how to spin a phrase. I did a little reading about him, and by modern standards, his early life was a failure. That gives me hope that I might still have some future communicating my wacko ideas to others.

I love his imagery of the diffuse light becoming a luminous flash. I could compare it to the grape juice I'm drinking at the moment. The pure juice, though one of God's more remarkable creations, is almost too rich. Dilute it with water, and it just becomes weak. But dilute it with some complementary substance, and it tastes delightful.

In case my comparison needs some explanation, the pure grape juice is the essence of a beautiful story. Diluting it with stylistically flavorless prose just weakens the story, rendering it unappealing. The right stylistic ingredient, though, turns the story into a gourmet's delight.

The casual observer, in reading this comment, would see a great example of diluted prose.

2:55 PM  

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