Friday, November 16, 2012

Thinking about writing.

For years now, maybe decades, I have read and enjoyed the "Times" editorial pages thoughts of Verlyn Klinkenborg. He has a sensitivity and a quiet that seems a necessary remove from the tumult of everyday life.

We don't live life in the 21st Century like Thoreau did in the 19th. But maybe we did. Maybe every era thinks the pace has gotten too fast. That the earth is in danger of spinning off its axis. That human affairs are nasty, brutish and short. After all, it was in the early 19th Century that Wordsworth wrote these words:


          THE world is too much with us; late and soon,
          Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers:
          Little we see in Nature that is ours;
          We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!
          The Sea that bares her bosom to the moon;
          The winds that will be howling at all hours,
          And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers;
          For this, for everything, we are out of tune;
          It moves us not.--Great God! I'd rather be
          A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn;                         
          So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,
          Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn;
          Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea;
          Or hear old Triton blow his wreathed horn.

In any event Klinkenborg has just written a book on writing that I picked up about a week ago. I haven't got deep into it yet because I'm finishing the fourth volume of Robert Caro's masterpiece on the life of Lyndon Johnson, "The Passage of Power." Klinkenborg's book is called "Several Short Sentence about Writing." You can order it here:

Here's his first page.

It's written somewhat in the pointed jabs of the luminous Dave Trott. And like Trott, Klinkenborg 
gives you something to think about.


dave trott said...

Wow, I'm really flattered George.
I particularly like the symbolism of:
"It doesn't wave to its friends in the audience
Or pause to be acknowledged or applauded."
Thanks a lot.

Anonymous said...

Funny, with the very first lines of that excerpt, Mr. T's machine gun bursts came to mind.
Enough to make one consider buying the book.