Alec Nevala-Lee

Thoughts on art, creativity, and the writing life.

Posts Tagged ‘Ford Madox Ford

Quote of the Day

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Ford Madox Ford

The reader, you should premise, will always dislike you and your book. He thinks it an insult that you should dare to claim his attention, and if lunch is announced or there is a ring at the bell he will welcome the digression. So you will provide him with what he thinks are digressions—with occasions on which he thinks he may let his attention relax…But really not one single thread must ever escape your purpose.

Ford Madox Ford, It Was the Nightingale

Written by nevalalee

December 7, 2016 at 7:30 am

The ironmonger’s catalog

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Ford Madox Ford

Carefully examined a good—an interesting—style will be found to consist in a constant succession of tiny, unobservable surprises…

The catalog of an ironmonger’s store is uninteresting as literature because things in it are all classified and thus obvious: the catalog of a farm sale is more interesting because things in it are contrasted. No one would for long read: “Nails, drawn wire, 1/2 inch, per lb…; nails do., 3/4 inch, per lb…; nails, do., inch, per lb…” But it is often not disagreeable to read desultorily: “Lot 267, Pair rabbit gins. Lot 268, Antique powder flask. Lot 269, Malay Kris. Lot 270, Set of six sporting prints by Herring. Lot 271, Silver caudle cup…” For that, as far as it goes, has the quality of surprise.

Ford Madox Ford

Written by nevalalee

February 28, 2015 at 9:00 am

Posted in Quote of the Day, Writing

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Quote of the Day

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Written by nevalalee

July 30, 2012 at 7:30 am

Posted in Quote of the Day, Writing

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