links for 2010-10-18

  • "Concise prose knows what it wants to say, and says it. It does not embellish, except occasionally, and then for dramatic effect. It is sparing in its use of metaphor. And it is certainly careful in its use of adjectives. Look at the King James Bible, that magnificent repository of English at the height of its beauty. The language used to describe the creation of the world is so simple, so direct. "Let there be light, and there was light." That sentence has immense power precisely because there are no adjectives. If we fiddle about with it, we lose that. "Let there be light, and there was a sort of matutinal,* glowing phenomenon that slowly transfused, etc." No, that doesn't work."

    It certainly, obviously, most emphatically doesn't.

  • "Novelist Barbara Kingsolver, historian Woody Holton and poet Debra Nystrom are the top winners of the Library of Virginia's annual Literary Awards. The awards were announced last night at a gala celebration at the library for which novelist Adriana Trigiani served as host."
  • "The Autobiography of Mark Twain (Vol. 1) hit the stands just yesterday, and already it stands at the top of the Amazon bestseller list, leapfrogging past Stieg Larsson, Bill Bryson, Jon Stewart, and even the latest, supposedly greatest American novelist, Jonathan Franzen. Although he died a century again, Twain has still got it."

    Has he ever!!

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