Good Writing


Reading Conrad’s Nostromo I came across a sentence I thought to be Latinized and formal. Then I realized it was a brilliant way to combine clarity with economy.

From the start of Chapter Three:

“When General Barrios stopped to address Mrs. Gould, Antonia raised negligently her hand holding an open fan, as if to shade from the sun her head, wrapped in a light lace shawl.”

My first thought was to ask why Conrad didn’t write “to shade her head from the sun,” then realized that the sun would have been wrapped in a shawl. Another sentence would have been needed to mention the shawl.

Perhaps it’s not brilliant, but yours truly learned something by reading it.

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Author: mytiturk

Travelbug Minstrel: Strum for my supper, croon for my cuppa Search for a sign, write for my whine

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