Friday, February 18, 2011

Read well

 I like the chapter about reading well.   Here's a little quote:
. . . to read with an eye and ear out for words, images, scenes, sentences, and rhythms that evoke a felt response.  To put a check in the margin when they are bothered or amused or offended or delighted or simply when something makes them think "Hmm."
I've been enjoying James Herriot's books for some time now, and here is a passage that "evokes a felt response."  Herriot describes a time in which an cow died after his care.  He describes the response of the farmer at the time, and in the years that followed.  This is his conclusion:
During that period, there have been occasions when I have suffered misfortunes due to the shortcomings of others, when I have found people at fault and at my mercy if I wished to make trouble for them.  At these times I had a standard of conduct to follow.  I tried to behave like Robert Maxwell.
(from The Lord God Made Them All by James Herriot)

It makes me think of all the people with whom we interact and wonder at how we all influence each other.  The farmer never heard these words from the vet, and yet the impact was significant.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Tell the truth

"My dear, you have missed so many opportunities to say nothing."

Why do I seem to think the silence must be filled?


Confession:  I have never read Pride and Prejudice all the way through.  But Jane Austen comes up so often when I read about literature, I may have to find a copy.