Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Verlyn Klinkenborg: “old world,” “cold week”

Verlyn Klinkenborg, “January,” The Rural Life (Boston: Back Bay Books, 2002).

It’s not as cold now as it was that January (Klinkenborg reports a -50 °F windchill), but it’s cold enough. The Rural Life is drawn in large part from Klinkenborg’s now-ended New York Times column of the same name (1998–2013).

I know little about rural life. But I know good writing. My enthusiasm for Klinkenborg’s Several Short Sentences about Writing prompted me to pick up this earlier book.

Other Klinkenborg posts
From Several Short Sentences
Also from Several Short Sentences
On the English major
On e-reading
On “the social value of reading”

[Pipe chase : “an enclosed, finished space used to house and conceal pipe runs.”]

comments: 4

Fresca said...

I am going to the library right now, as it so happens, and I'm going to pick up a copy of "Several Short Sentences about Writing" (none are currently checked out). I've never read it, and it sounds like fun. (Fun. Yep, I am that type...)

Michael Leddy said...

If you like to read writing about writing, it’s big fun. :)

Frex said...

Frex = Fresca
I read _Short Sentences_ last night---it was fun!
Thanks for the rec.
So many great things in it--I plan on blogging about the book soon.
(Yeah, right. We shall see.)

I enjoy VK now, but I wouldn't have liked him when I was a young woman--he's a little stiff and a little precious.
As one unsympathetic critic put it, he produces "artisanal writing".
I don't agree with that critic's call for VK to cease and desist (there's room for artisanal writing, why not?), but I did laugh reading his article:

Michael Leddy said...

Yes, it’s funny, and he’s trying to generate buzz, but what he’s quoting strikes me as good writing. (Though I’m not crazy about the E. B. Whiteness in the passage about the horse.) I esp. liked the sentence “What the calendar promises, the day itself retracts.” Sounds almost like two lines of Dickinson in common meter. Take that, Hamilton Nolan!

I’m glad you liked Several Short Sentences . I took my copy out yesterday to reread.