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Quotes About Sentence Structure

Quotes tagged as "sentence-structure" (showing 1-3 of 3)
Lynne Truss
“What the semicolon's anxious supporters fret about is the tendency of contemporary writers to use a dash instead of a semicolon and thus precipitate the end of the world. Are they being alarmist?”
Lynne Truss, Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation

Roman Payne
“I ran across an excerpt today (in English translation) of some dialogue/narration from the modern popular writer, Paulo Coelho in his book: Aleph.(Note: bracketed text is mine.)... 'I spoke to three scholars,' [the character says 'at last.'] ...two of them said that, after death, the [sic (misprint, fault of the publisher)] just go to Paradise. The third one, though, told me to consult some verses from the Koran. [end quote]' ...I can see that he's excited. [narrator]' ...Now I have many positive things to say about Coelho: He is respectable, inspiring as a man, a truth-seeker, and an appealing writer; but one should hesitate to call him a 'literary' writer based on this quote. A 'literary' author knows that a character's excitement should be 'shown' in his or her dialogue and not in the narrator's commentary on it. Advice for Coelho: Remove the 'I can see that he's excited' sentence and show his excitement in the phrasing of his quote.(Now, in defense of Coelho, I am firmly of the opinion, having myself written plenty of prose that is flawed, that a novelist should be forgiven for slipping here and there.)Lastly, it appears that a belief in reincarnation is of great interest to Mr. Coelho ... Just think! He is a man who has achieved, (as Leonard Cohen would call it), 'a remote human possibility.' He has won lots of fame and tons of money. And yet, how his preoccupation with reincarnation—none other than an interest in being born again as somebody else—suggests that he is not happy!”
Roman Payne

Fred Kaplan
“He had entered another imaginative world, one connected to the beginning of his life as a writer, to the Napoleonic world that had been a lifelong metaphor for the power of art, for the empire of his own creation He began to dictate notes for a new novel, "fragments of the book he imagines himself to be writing." As if he were now writing a novel of which his own altered consciousness was the dramatic center, he dictated a vision of himself as Napoleon and his own family as the Imperial Bonapartes....William and Alice he grasped with his regent hand, addressing his 'dear and most esteemed brother and sister.' To them, to whom he had granted countries, he now gave the responsibility of supervising the detailed plans he had created for 'the decoration of certain apartments, here of the Louvre and Tuileries, which you will find addressed in detail to artists and workment who take them in hand.' He was himself the 'imperial eagle.'

Taking down the dictation, Theodora [his secretary] felt it to be almost more than she could bear. 'It is a heart-breaking thing to do, though, there is the extraordinary fact that his mind does retain the power to frame perfectly characteristic sentences.”
Fred Kaplan, Henry James: The Imagination of Genius, A Biography

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