Thursday, August 27, 2009

Of walking and words...

This morning as I went on my morning walk, I took the path that runs along White Rock Canyon, overlooking the Rio Grande. It is a beautiful, if rocky, walk, and for the hour-plus that I trod the trail, I listened to the end of a P. G. Wodehouse book of short stories, entitled, My Man Jeeves. The thing about Wodehouse is his amazing ability to capture the exactly perfect word to paint a whole picture of a scene. He is ironic and funny and a master of the human condition. He can make the word "Chappy" replete with a thousand nuanced thoughts. I laughed aloud, and marveled at his use of the language.

My friend Cindy is marveling about words today, too. She has been imbibing Kenneth Branagh's Hamlet, and says in part:
After watching Hamlet last night, I found myself wondering if Shakespeare was a mere mortal. The words, the beautiful words. How did he do that? How did he fill every single line with meaning and substance and pictures and ideas? Were the Elizabethans the final height of civilization? Why in 500 years is the closest thing to a William Shakespeare, PG Wodehouse?

Why, indeed.

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