“Stones and grass have many virtues,” Roberto Bolano has a character say, “but words have more.” I’d reverse that.

In unconnected news: the first two sentences of my review of Marcel Theroux’s Far North originally read, “Far North is a cowboy labour-camp eco-disaster movie, in which a woman passes herself off as a man. Every base is touched.” They luxuriated in a paragraph of their own.

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Filed under books & reviews, the postmodernised landscape

6 responses to “virtues

  1. lara

    Let me know when you plan to give your masterclass (or, indeed, mzclass) on writing book reviews, won’t you. That one’s another ace.

  2. Yes, we are grateful for subs who save luxuriant writers from themselves.

  3. What interests me – irks me, actually – is that sub-(presumably)added ‘of a novel’, which I likely wouldn’t have noticed as irksome if you hadn’t given us the ‘book-review-readers-are-actually-intelligent-y’know’ original: “You mean he’s not reviewing a non-existent movie in the books pages? Aw, shucks…”

  4. uzwi

    For me the effect was to make the opening statement less blunt; & to reduce the impact of the first sentence of the second paragraph, “It’s the future,” by absorbing it into a longer, slower sequence of words. But mileage will vary, I guess.

  5. I see what you mean.

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