Sunday, January 2, 2011

An excellent sentence

"Write with your ear," my literary mentors told me again and again. "Prose that sounds good to the ear reads well to the mind."

Today I came across a snippet of writing that beautifully drives home the point. It is by the novelist and journalist Katie Roiphe in today's New York Times Book Review:

"... the critic has one important function: to write well.

"By this I mean that critics must strive to write stylishly, to concentrate on the excellent sentence."

Now that is in itself a hell of an excellent sentence . (Note the internal triple rhymes of "strive to write stylishly" and "excellent sentence.") It sings.

Bravo, Ms. Roiphe. Lead the way.

1 comment:

  1. Don't forget the sibilants, Henry! They add consonance to the assonance.