I love well written sentences. You know the ones I’m talking about, the ones that make you pause and reread. They are symphonic in flow and powerful in nature. Whether making reference to another body of work or just pure applied genius, they are treasures.
In today’s USA TODAY sports section, Christine Brennan penned an article about the Alabama coach, Nick Saban. If you haven’t heard about the defeat handed to them in the last seconds of the Auburn game or witnessed several playbacks of the 109 yard return off a missed field goal, you must not be watching television. But the article speculates about Nick Saban’s future and why she can’t see him leaving his current post. In discussing what would happen if he left Alabama, she wrote: That’s how the story of Saban’s career in the SEC would end, not with a bang, but with a sprinter.
Was she borrowing the phrase from T.S. Elliot’s The Hollow Men poem? The last lines reading: This is the way the world ends, Not with a bang but a whimper. Who knows if she’s even familiar with his work, but I am. And I loved it. Just brilliant.
Dialogue is another place I love to find crisp, poignant sentences. House of Cards, the political drama offered by Netflix and starring Kevin Spacey, is a treasure trove of strong dialogue littered with evocative sentences delivered with intensity. For me, Spacey’s character Francis Underwood has the most haunting lines of the show. Check out IMDB for a sampling of some his jewels.
But one of my favorites hails from Chapter 4, where Spacey’s character comments, “It’s so refreshing to work with someone who’ll throw a saddle on a gift horse rather than look it in the mouth.”
Do you have favorite lines from books? You know, those one line zingers or phrases with such great magnitude you commit them to memory. I do and I add to that list as often as I can.