Good Writing

The trick about reading good books while working on my own craft of writing is coming to terms with the fact that I have such a long way to go.  And sometimes I stumble across such good writing that I have to wonder what in the world I’m doing trying to write.

Right now I’m reading Mary McCarthy’s Memories of a Catholic Girlhood.  I’m only a few chapters in, but I’m already infatuated.  Her characters are described with remarkable insight and twists of phrase that astound me.  My favorite so far:

“She felt, in spite of everything, that she was open to criticism, and, transposing this feeling with a practiced old hand, kept peering into our characters for symptoms of ingratitude.”

Good writing.

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1 Comment

Filed under Book Reviews

One response to “Good Writing

  1. darlene

    I know the feeling. I read something so beautifully wrought that I wonder if I am not an impostor of sorts. Or more accurately, a child play acting the grown up in Mom’s high heels and Dad’s bow tie. But good writing also gets inside me as I read it. I feel myself using an author’s vocabulary, style, or rhythm long after putting the book down. Maybe some residual genius remains with us, eh?

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