Tag Archives: Elmore Leonard

Do people really speak like that?

Belfast landscape heads by David "Creative" McClelland.

Dialogue springs forth fully formed from the mouths of the regulars in my favourite pub. It’s very odd. This isn’t how people really speak surely?

Normal speech is hesitation, prevarication, vagueries, misunderstanding, repetition, replete with em-ing and er-ing. Isn’t it?

But what I heard while perched at the bar sounded honed by Elmore Leonard. It can have/seem to have an aggressive edge to it. (See here for a foreigner’s view.)

This snatch of speech begins as the fella on my left hand explains that he drinks in the pub most weekdays, at which point fella on my right hand jumps in…

LEFT: I drink here most lunchtimes.

RIGHT: Why?

LEFT: Because I can.

Pause.

LEFT: I’m drinking for one now…

RIGHT (interrupting forcefully): No! Never explain. You were a hero there. The hero in films never explains himself. It’s just bang, here it is, this is it. For 45 seconds there, you were a hero. But you blew it. Continue reading

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Filed under language, life

Charles “Disappointing” Dickens v. the Panda

Dickens showing off his trousers. Scroll down for the intimidating panda.

The closing paragraphs of A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens had my eyes tearing up. The final sentence is iconic.

It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to, than I have ever known.

I won’t spoil it by explaining why it’s such a tearjerker. You should read the book yourself. But don’t be deterred by the disappointing opening sentence. Continue reading

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Filed under art, What I'm Reading