What Muriel Spark says…

…Via Joel on Software.

“‘You begin,’ he said, ‘by setting your scene. You have to see your scene, either in reality or in imagination. For instance, from here you can see across the lake. But on a day like this you can’t see across the lake, it’s too misty. You can’t see the other side.’ Rowland took off his reading glasses to stare at his creative writing class, whose parents’ money was being thus spent: two boys and three girls around sixteen to seventeen years of age, some more, some a little less. ‘So,’ he said, ‘you must just write, when you set your scene, “the other side of the lake was hidden in mist.” Or if you want to exercise imagination, on a day like today, you can write, “The other side of the lake was just visible.” But as you are setting the scene, don’t make any emphasis as yet. It’s too soon, for instance, for you to write, “The other side of the lake was hidden in the fucking mist.” That will come later. You are setting your scene. You don’t want to make a point as yet.’”
— from The Finishing School

I hadn’t heard of Muriel Spark before now, but I like what he she says. Often, I think, I make the mistake of finding the emphasis, before I have managed to put together the setting. It’s a failing that’s somehow become worse with time.

The TV is becoming a real nuisance, what with all the sporting action going around. This month is pretty much a done deal, unless I cut down on the football watching.

Too many heavy books have killed the joy of reading. Thankfully, A picked up a few Agatha Christie books from Landmark yesterday. Busied myself with Cat Among the Pigeons. Rather engrossing the first few chapters, and more like the Christie I remember, particularly considering the very disappointing “The Hollow”, another Christie which she had bought a couple of weeks before.

Severe neck sprain ruined my weekend plans, though I got happily fussed over at home. Manipal Hospital is pretty much the pits, worst experience with a doctor yet. Charge 250 bucks for a consultation, and don’t even bother looking at you. Make you feel like just another component entering a money making assembly line. Spoke to a few of my colleagues, turned out their experience with Manipal was no better.


Posted on June 14, 2006, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Feel better soon.

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