First page   Next page Last page

RSS feedFollow Paul House on TwitterFollow Paul House on Facebook


With pleasure I will torpedo the ark. - Henrik Ibsen

22 November 2014
Add comment • 7062 page views

Richard Ford or Don DeLillo

Richard Ford has said, "I’m always interested in words, and no matter what I’m doing—describing a character or a landscape or writing a line of dialogue—I’m moved, though not utterly commanded by an interest in the sound and rhythm of the words, in addition, I ought to say, to what the words actually denote. Most writers are probably like that, don’t you think? Sometimes I’ll write a sentence that sets up an opportunity for say, a direct object or predicate adjective and I won’t have a clue what the word is except that I know what I don’t want—the conventional word: the night grew dark. I don’t want dark. I might, though, want a word that has four syllables and a long a sound in it. Maybe it’ll mean dark, or maybe it’ll take a new direction. I’ll have some kind of inchoate metrical model in my mind. One of the ways sentences can surprise their maker, please their reader, and uncover something new is that they get to the sense they make by other than ordinary logical means."


Don de Lillo says that he fixates on the shapes of letters and words, and judges each phrase for its visual appearance as well as its rhythm and clarity. He likes word combinations where one word surrounds another. Sometimes, Mr. DeLillo says, he will swap out a word for a more rhythmically appealing one, even if it alters the meaning of the sentence. He often types up a single paragraph at a time, using a clean sheet of paper for each paragraph, so that he can study the architecture of each passage in isolation.

10 October 2014
Keywords: words and sounds
Add comment • 3576 page views


Recent events in Spain bring to mind a line from Richard Ford's The Sportswriter:

“People surprise you with just how fuckin stupid they are.”

9 October 2014
Keywords: Ebola
Add comment • 3534 page views


I love sleep. My life has a tendency to fall apart when I'm awake.

28 June 2014
Keywords: Sleep
Add comment • 3747 page views


How poor is the language of happiness!

                                         Osip Mandelstam

27 June 2014
Keywords: happiness
Add comment • 3769 page views

older posts