Monday, July 16, 2012

Sentences, Beautiful Sentences

Woke up to Ogallala this morning. The gas station had a sign posted over its front door that read "You are Nowhere". Thanks to the Ogallala Chamber of Commerce for saying it for me. but that still doesn't excuse gas at $3.89/gallon. Next time, I fill up in Kearny unless I hear the Children of the Corn music playing at the pump.

Before we hit the road, I had a moment to squeeze in some reading from The Norton Book of London, which my daughter bought for me last Christmas, since she knows that London is my second favorite city in the world (Oxford is my favorite, so far). I'm reading this book (along with one other) as combined entertainment and research for a world-building exercise I'm doing. Funny that inspiration struck in the wheat fields of Western Nebraska after I had dallied about London in my mind. More on that some other time. That's a project that's only in the sketching stages. My real writing effort is currently being spent on my Science Fiction novel, "Solistalgia".

I have to share this sentence I read this morning from the book. I love a great sentence. I have, on my Amazon wishlist, a book about great sentences. Were it not for my beloved NPR, I would never have heard this interview by the author. Now, I've always been partial to a good sentence, but since hearing the interview, I have been on the lookout! So I was pleased, in the middle of Nowhere, to see the following evocation of 1930's London from the Evelyn Waugh book Scoop in this morning's readings:

"From Hyde Park Corner to Piccadilly Circus the line of traffic was continuous and motionless, still as a photograph, unbroken and undisturbed save at a few strategic corners where barricaded navvies, like desperate outposts of some proletarian defence, were rending the road with mechanical drills, mining for the wires and tubes that controlled the life of the city."


And nearly three years after posting this, I discover this beautiful sentence, from Frederic Gros' A Philosophy of Walking: "Only children know the miracle of nostalgia without a past."

Perfect. Absolutely perfect.

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