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19 April 2014 / erikduval


Good Writing can be savoured: sometimes, I turn a well written sentence around in my brain like I move a gulp of Brunello around in my mouth. Try this one from Brideshead Revisited:

“I have been here before,” I said; I had been there before; first with Sebastian more than twenty years ago on a cloudless day in June, when the ditches were creamy with meadowsweet and the air heavy with all the scents of summer; it was a day of peculiar splendour, and though I had been there so often, in so many moods, it was to that first visit that my heart returned on this, my latest.

A good opening sentence is especially powerful – ‘Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.‘ is a nice example.

The preface of George Dyson‘s Turing’s Cathedral starts as follows:

There are two kinds of creation myths: those whose life arises out of the mud, and those where life falls from the sky. In this creation myth, computers arose from the mud, and code fell from the sky.

Not bad. A bit below, he writes

The stored-program computer, as conceived by Alan Turing and delivered by John von Neumann, broke the distinction between numbers that mean things and numbers that do things. Our universe will never be the same.

Ok. So, of course, now I’m reading the book. I don’t think I will be using a marker to highlight notable sentences. I may need an un-marker to downlight the few not notable sentences – if I can find any…


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