Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

More on style (part two)

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Continued from More on style (part one).

Morley, my father, put it at its most radical in his memoir, That Summer In Paris. He wrote:

...Show-off writers; writers intent on proving to their readers that they could be clever and had some education.... Such vanities should be beneath them if they were really concerned in revealing the object as it was. Those lines, A primrose by a river's brim, a yellow primrose was to him, and it was nothing more, often troubled me. What the hell else did Wordsworth want it to be? An orange? A sunset? I would ask myself. Why does one thing have to remind you of something else?... one thing always seen in terms of another thing... I'd be damned if the glory of literature was in the metaphor. Besides, it was not the time for the decorative Renaissance flight into simile. Tell the truth cleanly. Weren't the consequences of fraudulent pretending plain to anyone who would look around?

They were clear to anyone who was watching Don Quixote ride by.

To be continued.

The views expressed in the Writer-in-Residence blogs are those held by the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Open Book: Toronto.

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Barry Callaghan

Barry Callaghan is an award-winning author, poet, editor and publisher. He is one of Canada’s most preeminent men of letters. His most recent collection of short stories, Between Trains, was published by McArthur & Company in 2007.

Go to Barry Callaghan’s Author Page