When writers speak…

Thank you Katherine Taylor over at The Elegant Variation for linking to Arthur Krystal’s wonderful essay, “When Writers Speak,” in the New York Times. It’s about the rift between writing and speaking…

There seems to be a rhythm to writing that catches notes that ordinarily stay out of earshot. At some point between formulating a thought and writing it down falls a nanosecond when the thought becomes a sentence that would, in all likelihood, have a different shape if we were to speak it. This rhythm, not so much heard as felt, occurs only when one is composing; it can’t be simulated in speech, since speaking takes place in real time and depends in part on the person or persons we’re speaking to. Wonderful writers might therefore turn out to be only so-so conversationalists, and people capable of telling great stories waddle like ducks out of water when they attempt to write.

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~ by Valerie Palmer on December 12, 2009.

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