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Old 11th Jan 2007, 0:17   #21
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Join Date: 2 Dec 2004
Posts: 2,929
Default Re: And another batch of opening lines...

But I still go for the language.
Yes, despite my carping, I understand that sentiment entirely. It's a long, long time since I read her, but my abiding memory of the experience was that of witnessing a master language technician at the pinnacle of her formidable abilities. She's one of those writers who has what I call, 'a musical ear for language'. To put it a little more crudely - she never delivers a bum note, does she? Nor an unwieldy phrase. Her writing is so finely balanced, it really is like very cleverly orchestrated music. Can't for the life of me remember the title, but the book in question was about - and I'm afraid her writing made far more of an impression than her plot, so forgive my vagueness - two sisters who share an awful lot of resentment for the other. Something like that, anyway. But so little happened and the mood was so sterile, somehow, that I came away without giving a damn about either of them. And I do remember thinking (very clearly at the time) that anyone who could write as Brookner does must be an exceedingly cold fish. Her work is so terribly controlled and painstakingly perfect that there's something frightfully frigid about it all, in a way. And yet .. and yet ... yes, you are very right: writing that finely tuned and crafted does bring a joy all of its own ..
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