Happy Friday, everyone! The week is winding down, so what better time than now to usher in the weekend with a Favorite Lines Friday? This week I’ve been thinking a lot about great writing. Sure, it’s a subjective concept, but there are some authors out there who seem to relish every word—who piece together phrases so powerful they’re practically breathtaking. For me, Diane Setterfield is one of those writers.
I opened the letter and pulled out a sheaf of half a dozen pages, all written in the same laborious script. Thanks to my work, I am experienced in the reading of difficult manuscripts. There is no great secret to it. Patience and practice are all that is required. That and the willingness to cultivate an inner eye. When you read a manuscript that has been damaged by water, fire, light or just the passing of the years, your eye needs to study not just the shape of the letters but other marks of production. The speed of the pen. The pressure of the hand on the page. Breaks and releases in the flow. You must relax. Think of nothing. Until you wake into a dream where you are at once a pen flying over vellum itself with the touch of ink tickling your surface. Then you can read it. The intention of the writer, his thoughts, his hesitations, his longings and his meaning. You can read as clearly as if you were the very candlelight illuminating the page as the pen speeds over it.
Title:The Thirteenth Tale
Author: Diane Setterfield
Publisher: Atria Books
Publication Date: November 12, 2006