Monday, April 30, 2012

The prithee-perchance problem

Hilary Mantel on the art of making the dead speak.  I think she may go slightly too far in the direction of flattening the language and making it undistinctive: I loved Wolf Hall and am very eager to read the sequel, but language is the least interesting part of the fictional world she creates.

Sent off the piece I had due today about twenty minutes ago; have a couple of school things I really should do this afternoon, but they are going to have to wait till tomorrow!  Struck with a slight cold or sinus infection of some sort, alas; it is the inevitable consequence, I fear, of a spell of working too hard and the struggle to get out of town without leaving too many loose threads.

1 comment:

  1. I'm not quite sure if you're right about Mantel's prose. Can you give some particulars? In Giving Up the Ghost there are some lovely passages - lovely sentences - for example:

    'They [two bigger girls] are fifteen years old, with great brawny arms, with the woody scent of motherhood rushing from their pores and enveloping me.'

    Perhaps Mantel is uneven? Changing as she develops/ages? I'll have to go back to Wolf Hall for another look. Originally I took the voice to be rather specific to her purpose. But I'm glad to be surprised by your views: forces me to (re)think!