Friday, September 16, 2011

Weekly Quotes Part 37


Business, you know, may bring money, but friendship hardly ever does.  (297)

Emma denied none of it aloud, and agreed to none of it in private.  (362)

Although I didn’t find Emma nearly as amusing as Pride and Prejudice, I did chuckle at these two quotes I found while reading the novel.  There were probably some other humorous remarks to which I didn’t respond and didn’t end up in my notebook. 


The bottom line is not how fast you make your dream come true, but how steadily you pursue it.  (September 10)

Remember, the longer it takes for a dream to make itself manifest, the more comfortable you’ll feel owning your talent.  (September 11)

Okay, that second one is obviously one of those quotes one uses to pacify the self-doubts and frustrations of striving for a dream not yet fulfilled.  After all, some lucky person who achieves early success can’t possibly appreciate it as much as someone who worked hard for it for decades.  It’s funny the misplaced consolation we desperately grasp to placate our inner demons.


But the materials of story weaving are the same in all ages and all places, Births, deaths, marriages, scandals—these are the only really interesting things in the world.  (2)

Aside from the curiosity I feel as to why Montgomery or the publisher chose to capitalize “birth,” I think this is one of those observations that lends itself to discussion but probably not to debate.  There is the truism—all stories have been told already.  Writers are exonerated and are often told, “However, nobody else can tell your story the way you would tell it.”  And, when you get right down to it, she’s not really far from being absolutely right.  As I said, we could probably discuss this further and perhaps add a point or two to her list but that wouldn’t contradict so much as clarify her initial point.


For any writer, the ability to look at a sentence an see what’s superfluous, what can be altered, revised, expanded, and, especially, cut, is essential.  (2)

I absolutely agree and have no clue how this is accomplished.  This is why writers often need that objective eye, to point out that a beautiful metaphor may not be best placed in a particular paragraph or that a sentence doesn’t read with the same smoothness it supposedly had when it was composed.  For instance, I’m terrible at attribution and I tend to avoid using it but every now and again a “he said” or “she said” would do wonders for clarity. In my mind I know who is speaking so I can’t hear that I’m being vague but another reader can.  And, when I’m very lucky, they are a good enough reader to point it out to me.

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