Tuesday, 29 April 2008

Tagged - a book meme

Tania Hershman tagged me with a meme. I haven't done one before and I don't think I'll pass on the tag because a) I don't personally know too many bloggers, and b) I don't really want to be tagged back. It's too time consuming! Here it is anyway:

1. Pick up the nearest book.
2. Open to page 123
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the next three sentences.
5. Tag five people, and acknowledge who tagged you.

OK, so here goes:
1. Nearest book is Eithne Strong's Patterns, a short story collection which I dug out of a box of books abandoned in a press, when I was shortlisted for the Strong Award.

2. Page 123 is in the middle of a story called 'The Requiem'.

She wondered had she, hoped she had, wounded him. And almost at once was sorry also. She leaned over him, bending her head down to his but she could not see his face.

Eithne's sentences are short and punchy, aren't they? What's interesting is that it makes you see every word a writer writes when you re-write their sentence. Apparently a lot of wannabe writers re-wrote favourite writers' work 'to see how they do it'. I heard Joseph O'Connor say that at a reading. Also C.K. Williams said he did that when younger to feel like the original poet. Sort of mad but possibly informative?


Tania Hershman/The Short Review said...

Great quote, it is beautifully written and intriguing. Is she the person the award is named after? It's funny that you say that about rewriting the work of the greats, I was just reading about that in an article in the latest Poets & Writers and wondering whether it might be worth doing a little more. You can really get inside the rhythm that way, really feel it, and you notice where you might have done something differently, put in a comma where there isn't one, joined two sentences together, or split one up. Interesting experience!

Women Rule Writer said...

Yes, it was named for her and her husband Rupert Strong. She used quite a posh Hiberno-English in her work. I met someone who knew her at PN08 and he confirmed that she was writing out of quite a middle-class 'place'. But her stuff is daring and quite surreal at times. Maybe one to review for The Short Review?
As a fervent copy-editor, I am always removing and adding points of grammar/punctuation on my own and other people's work so, yes, it is interesting to see how other people handle their sentences!