Friday, April 27, 2007

Reading Like A Writer

Author: Francine Prose
Published: 2006

The subtitle of the book is "A Guide for People Who Love Books and for Those Who Want To Write Them". Less a 'how-to' than a 'how-to-be-mindful', Prose stresses that rules and guidelines are often broken. Her examples lean heavily on the literary, and can be humbling (I've read that example sentence by Samuel Johnson five times and I still don't get it).

I expect, having read this, there will be some 'aha!' moments as I read the work of others. As in, 'Ah! Yes, the flow of the paragraphs, speeding up, slowing down, and that one line like a caught-up breath'. In a way, I've tried to avoid that, thinking it would reduce what I'm reading to more mechanical deconstuction. On the other hand, maybe I could learn something.

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