Tuesday, 13 November 2012
Pseudsday Tuesday

I realised that my nephew was never going to be much of a ranter when he tried to insult his mother: "Mum is an OGRE ... er, I mean ogress." Rage should never be checked by pedantry, although correcting someone's grammar when they are in full-rant mode is a fun way to provoke them.  Nor should pedantry get in the way of an orgasm, as I fear it might in Tom Wolfe's Back to Blood, reviewed in the TLS by Stephen Abell:

Sex unquestionably brings out some of the flaws in Wolfe’s prose. For example, its effortfully mimetic approach, where the writing enacts the sounds it is describing. This is from a superfluous trip to the “Honey Pot” (an unimaginative strip club), where Wolfe wants to leave us in no doubt about the pole-straddling gyrations of the woman on stage: “BEAT thung CROTCH thung TAIL thung CRACK thung PERI thung NEUM thung”. Or its obsession with transcribing sounds to needless effect (which creates sentences that make it look as if the author has fallen asleep against his keyboard): “unhh, ahhh ahhh, ooom-muh, ennngh ohhhhunh”. There is crass imagery (“his big generative jockey was inside her pelvic saddle”) and glib alliteration (“lascivious looks of men lifting the lust in the loins”). And there is the relentlessly anatomical categorization: “pectoral glories”, “mons pubis”, “their montes veneris”.

I was nearly there, but that plural killed it. Those Mounties get everywhere.

Posted on 11/13/2012 10:30 AM by Mary Jackson
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