Thursday, 30 October 2008

Telepathy - an underrated skill

Continuing the theme of authors who magically articulate a thought which you thought was peculiar to yourself:

I was re-reading some quotes I scribbled out from Mark Haddon's A Spot of Bother, a truly brilliant book from a truly brilliant writer, a man able to describe a mental state better than any author I've read, when I came across this.

What was Jamie going to say? It seemed so obvious what he felt. But when he tried to put it into words it sounded clumsy and unconvincing and sentimental. If only you could lift a lid on the top of your head and say "Look".

A very simple paragraph, which describes exactly the problem I have with my writing.

Now I wish I'd brought A Spot of Bother up to Cambridge with me.

1 comment:

  1. Not quite on the same theme but related, how's this for a gorgeous sentence? Will quote for you the preceding sentences to give you the context but it's the final one that rings my bell:

    "Bangs is a rather pitiful man. He sports a more or less permanent shaving rash and he is always very, very nervous. Even his minor conversational sallies have an agonized, over-meditated quality and he tends to pitch his voice one or two decibels above the standard register. Talking to him is rather like attempting to converse with a school play."

    Aaaah! Notes On A Scandal, Zoe Heller. Delicious writing!

    Love the Sheenagh Pugh poem btw.

    And thank you very much for reading my blog :)