The Sound on the Page: Great Writers Talk about Style and Voice in Writing

By Ben Yagoda

In writing, type concerns. our favourite writers usually entertain, circulate, and encourage us much less through what they are saying than via how they are saying it. In The Sound at the Page, acclaimed writer, instructor, and critic Ben Yagoda bargains functional and incisive aid for writers on constructing and learning their very own kind and voice. This splendidly wealthy and readable ebook positive aspects interviews with greater than forty of our most crucial authors discussing their literary type, including:

Dave Barry
Harold Bloom
Supreme court docket Justice Stephen Breyer
Bill Bryson
Michael Chabon
Andrei Codrescu
Junot Díaz
Adam Gopnik
Jamaica Kincaid
Michael Kinsley
Elmore Leonard
Elizabeth McCracken
Susan Orlean
Cynthia Ozick
Anna Quindlen
Jonathan Raban
David Thomson
Tobias Wolff

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The key of its good fortune rests in a crux that's slightly discernible. One’s fingertips needs to snatch the main, lightly warming it. after which the main has to be became as soon as, now not twice…. No iron spike can pierce a human center as icily as a interval within the correct position. —Isaac Babel, within the brief tale “Guy de Maupassant” kind isn't really a lot a question OF selection. One doesn't sit to write down and say: is that this poem going to be a Queen Anne poem, a Beidermayer poem, a Vienna Secession poem or a chinese language Chippendale poem? quite it's either a reaction to constraint and a seizing of chance. quite often a constraint is an opportunity…. kind allows us to talk, to visualize back. Beckett speaks of “the lengthy sonata of the dead”—where on the earth did the notice sonata come from, enforcing because it does an orderly, even exalted layout upon the main disorderly, distressing phenomenon recognized to us? if truth be told no longer challenged, yet understood, momentarily, in a brand new method. —Donald Barthelme FOR MYSELF, in the event you will excuse a slightly affordable little photo, i assume variety is the replicate of an artist’s sensibility—more so than the content material of his paintings. to some extent all writers have style—Ronald Firbank, bless his middle, had little else, and thank God he discovered it. however the ownership of favor, a mode, is usually a situation, a adverse strength, now not appropriately, and because it is—with, say E. M. Forster and Colette and Flaubert and Mark Twain and Hemingway and Isak Dinesen—a reinforcement. Dreiser, for example, has a style—but oh, Dio buono! And Eugene O’Neill. And Faulkner, marvelous as he's. all of them appear to me triumphs over powerful yet destructive kinds, types that don't quite upload to the communique among author and reader. —Truman Capote the main sturdy factor IN WRITING IS type, and magnificence is the main worthwhile funding a author could make together with his time. It can pay off slowly, your agent will sneer at it, your writer will misunderstand it, and it'll take humans you might have by no means heard of to persuade them via gradual levels that the author who places his person mark at the manner he writes will continuously repay. —Raymond Chandler variety IS A RELATION among shape AND content material. the place the content material is under the shape, the place the writer pretends to emotion which he doesn't consider, the language will look flamboyant. The extra ignorant a author feels, the extra synthetic turns into his kind. A author who thinks himself cleverer than his readers writes easily, one that is afraid they're cleverer than he, will utilize mystification: stable variety is arrived at whilst the language selected represents what the writer calls for of it with no mystification. —Cyril Connolly the fashion IS the guy. relatively say the fashion is the way in which the guy takes himself; and to be in any respect captivating or maybe bearable, the way in which is sort of rigidly prescribed. whether it is with outer seriousness, it has to be with internal humor. whether it is with outer humor, it needs to be with internal seriousness. No wrong way will do. —Robert Frost FOR the real AND honest author, every thing he writes is in excessive variety: he potential each line with the utmost of depth, and is apt to turn into exasperated with readers whose reception of his paintings is tepid or selective.

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