thefairymelusine: line drawing of a knight lying by a bank of flowers (Default)
posted by [personal profile] thefairymelusine at 03:54pm on 25/04/2008 under , ,

Words cannot express how much I love "A Place of Greater Safety" by Hilary Mantel. There are various reasons for this: it helped me through some difficult times (and through AS Level history), it always makes me cry, it is the novel I want to write, it's beautiful, it's epic and the characterisation is perfect. BUT one stupid sentence has ruined my ability to take it seriously. The sentence is this (for background information it is Camille Desmoulins thinking about writing):

 I wonder why I ever bothered with sex, he thought; there's nothing in this breathing world so gratifying as an artfully placed semi-colon. 

I got an absolutely hopeless fit of the giggles after reading that on the tube last night. I then was plunged into thought, which I will document below.

Inigo's thoughts on reading this sentence

WHY MANTEL, WHY? Please, justify the sentence. Is it just because I  have never succeeded in placing a semi-colon artfully? When is my next opportunity to artfully place a semi-colon so I can see whether this works? Does this only work in French? Is this actually Mantel talking rather than Desmoulins? WHY? You know, I'd laugh even more if this was in something else, something I didn't take seriously. How many more lines like this are there going to be? How on earth did I not notice this line the first nine times I read this book. WHY?!

If someone could justify that line for me, either with their own experience, or with literary/character points (Desmoulins is fundamentally pretentious... things like that) it would be much appreciated. My world view would exist again.


Music:: "This Charming Man" -The Smiths
location: Corridor
Mood:: confused

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