Can you give a couple of examples of books that you think have done this particularly well?
Anything by Jane Austin, particularly Pride and Prejudice.
Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray
All of Shakespeare
Middlemarch by George Elliot
In recent times, Ivan Doig's Montana trilogy - start with Dancing at the Rascal Fair, because it is chronologically first, then English Creek, then Ride With Me, Mariah Montana. Rascal Fair is best.
Jane Smiley's A Thousand Acres, for the first third. Then she gets busy telling the story and there is a marked loss of the voice - still a good book, and a fascinating look at how the loss of great language use changes the storytelling.
Laurens Van der Post's A Story Like the Wind, a beautiful book in which almost nothing happens, and its sequel, A Far Off Place, which is all action, are also an excellent contrasts of language use.
Anything within the last twenty years?
Jane Smiley and Ivan Doig both are within the last 20 years.
How about Georgette Heyer (who usually sends me to the big dictionary at least once per book I hadn't read before), Dorothy Sayers, and more recently, Lois Bujold?
Oh, yes. I definitely wasn't being encyclopedic. All suggestions are welcome, and Heyer is wonderful.
Dammit, I was working! Working! Not sleeping!
... I require implicit validation of the incredibly bad day I had at work today. *g*
Very true. I was neglecting my international audience.
I'm sorry you had a bad day.
Nothing that whining can't solve. ;) That, and my resolution to kill myself when I hit sixty-five, because I HATE OLD PEOPLE.
Yeah, and Mick Jagger wasn't going to sing rock and roll after 40....
You're right about Rowling...love her to bits, but the times she uses the *wrong* word really bug me. ("Repressively" when she means "dismissively," for one.) I often think of what Mark Twain said when I read her - "The difference between the right word and the nearly right word is the same as that between lightning and the lightning bug."
"The difference between the right word and the nearly right word is the same as that between lightning and the lightning bug."
I love this. Thank you!
I have noticed in myself the reluctance to take on a challenging read. Even though I used to love doing that, I've gotten a bit lazy over time. So I found myself one of those "Classical Lit" reading lists, and am embarking on a quest to read all 165 books on it over the next year. I can read one "mental snack" a week while doing this (rather than the 5 or 6 I used to).
A good goal. I'd love to see the list!
Excellent! Bookmarked - I probably couldn't even read the LIST right now! Thank you.
What if you donated a couple days ago and still can't see the slash? *mournful* Sherlock Holmes slash!
Well, I don't have an association between your real name and your lj name. I've added you, but please let me know which donation to hang you on!
That's my fault; I told theferret
since I hadn't yet added you to my friends list. My name is RaeAnne Forrest.
I'd love to hear what you think of it when you get to read it.
Would Howard Zinn and/or Noam Chomsky count? They're well educated, but I would assume they'd try to make their writing less challenging to read, so as to spread the word more effieciently.
As for Harry Potter - well, I now know why those books are thicker than they need to be.
I was thinking more of the language of fiction. I find Chomsky tedious and irritating.
Hmm. Tedious as in slow? I haven't read any of his work, though I started reading an introduction he wrote to a book about anarchy - so far, I've only read the portions where he quotes some french anarchists. Witty guys those french. Man, I need to learn french.
For a second there, I read that as a slash pairing.
I love Noam Chomsky, but only as a linguist and I never wish to see him be a sexual linguist. (I'm assuming Howard Zinn is male and thus Mr. Chomsky can't be a cunning linguist.)
Bwahahaha. That's hilarious.
Well, I slept all day and now I'm staying up all night, so one can expect me to misread things.
Hah! I'm about to hit the hay, so yeah.
My frain (fried brain) is trying desperately to remember if "flense" has something to do with blubber.
Off to dictionary.com to see if I'm even remotely close.
Of course now I'm trying to figure out where I learned this word although I've narrowed it down to around the time I was 8-10.
Hah! I have no clue when I learned it, I just start saying it some unknown time in the past.
Actually, I'm enjoying the hell out of reading Steven Brust's The Paths Of The Dead, The Lord Of Castle Black and (I hope soon) Sethra Lavode in part because of the completely ridiculous style in which it's written...
Ooo, may have to look into those.