Sunday, November 04, 2007

The Sad State of Literacy

I recently came across a few written compositions worthy of the Bulwer Lytton contest. (This is material that was not written as a "deliberate travesty of ineptitude" ). Here are some most interesting excerpts:

"She wore a dress the same color as her eyes her father brought her from San Francisco."
--Danielle Steel, Star

"He spun round in the doorway with a violence that was tangible, surveying her bitterly with hard, blazing eyes before banging the door so savagely that the whole room shuddered and whimpered before sinking into an unearthly silence."

"They had only known each other for the last four months, Claire having come to work at the surgery following a long spell in hospital after a severe road accident, but the two of them had immediately hit it off."

"The possessiveness in his voice was deep and strong, its triumphant throb cutting through the layers of sexual delight as thoroughly as a knife through warm butter, and it hit her like a deluge of cold water."

"Donato nodded in a sharp little bow, clicking his fingers at Antonio, who reached behind her for the case, his pock-marked face beneath its chauffeur's cap of blue and gold apologetic."

"The fifty-or-so-mile drive to Donato's magnificent villa in Sorrento would be no problem - the Mercedes' excellent air conditioning added to the fact that the late-April temperature was only just touching seventy degrees made travelling at midday still a pleasure, unlike in high summer - but sitting in close proximity to Donato for well over an hour was a different matter."
--Helen Brooks, Husband by Contract (Harlequin)

"To understand why the house makes so much money at the craps table, you first have to understand why."--Roger Gros, How to Win at Casino Gambling, Carlton Books (1996) p.74

"He looked at me with his bottomless-cup-of-coffee eyes." Pg. 154 (hardcover edition) The Flower Master by Sujata Massey

"Agnes liked her job too much and carried it with her. She was like a human LEGO display--loveable but provoking." Ladies with Options, by Cynthia Hartwick

"And then he was fully socketed to her, like a pipe wrench in a crock of warm chili."
Robert K. Tanenbaum, in one of the Butch Karp novels (i.e., Enemy Within, Act of Revenge)

"Two men carrying shovels that didn't want to be identified . . ."
News Photos section of Yahoo News

And then there is this fervent piece about constipation (from 1892):

"And on the field of battle which preventive medicine is now and everywhere waging against the ills to which flesh is heir, the banner of preventive constipation is well at the front. Indeed I feel confident and I do greatly rejoice in this assurance, that when the enthusiastic physician who is ever loyal to the guild, who keeps her escutcheon fair and stainless, who is ever jealous of her honor, shall proudly make mention of her achievements and will not then be omitted." American Practitioner and News, August 13th, 1892

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Sandy. Glad to see you've not lost your edge, though occasionally you might have lost it like that blue sweater that was your favorite until it went missing one summer in Vermont.

Best wishes always.