Saturday, December 14, 2013

Airing Jane Eyre

I have started reading Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. I'm not sure why it has taken me so long to get around to reading it, maybe I was a long time recovering from Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte), which my students invariably called Withering Heights. I'm not sure, if this was a reference to the book or the teaching - maybe a bit of both :)

Anyway, I had forgotten how beautiful the language is in these older books - Jane Eyre was published in 1847. After reading the first 72 pages, I have encountered phrases, such as, "Two ships becalmed on a torpid sea." Or extended sentences like:

"To this crib I always took my doll; human beings must love something, and, in the dearth of worthier objects of affection, I contrived to find pleasure in loving and cherishing a faded graven image, shabby as a miniature scarecrow."

Some may find the language stuffy and contrived. I don't. I actually find it liberating. Rather than being limited to a publisher's lexicon of a few thousand words, novels, such as, Jane Eyre seem to use every word at their disposal and there were tens of thousands!!

I decided to spend a little more time reading this year, because another fellow blogger, Stephen King - the other Stephen King wrote about the importance of reading in the writing process. I can immediately see how reading exposes a writer to different sentence structures, the controlled cadence of prose and words both new and old used in interesting ways!!

Have an awesome day!!

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