Tuesday, July 3, 2012

The Pleasure of Writing (part 1), Rose Macaulay

         “Words, living and ghostly, the quick and the dead, crowd and jostle the otherwise too empty corridors of my mind, to the exclusion, doubtless, of much else that should be there.  How charmingly they flit before me, heavy laden with their honey like bees, yet light on the wing; slipping shadowy out from dusty corners, hiding once more, eluding my reach, pirouetting in the air above me, now too light, too quick, to be caught in my net, now floating down, like feathers, like snowflakes, to my hands.  They arrange themselves in the most elegant odd patterns; they sound the strangest sweet euphonious notes, they flute and sing and taber, and disappear, like apparitions, with a curious perfume and a most melodious twang.  Or they abide my question; they offer their pedigrees for my inspection; I trace back their ancestry, noting their diverse uses, modes, offspring, kin, transformations, transplantations, somersaults, spellings, dignities, degradations, lines and phrases which have enambered them for ever, phrases and lines which they themselves immortally enkindled. To move among this bright, strange, often fabulous herd of beings, to summon them at my will, to fasten them on to paper like flies, that they may decorate it, this is the pleasure of writing.”

Rose Macaulay, “Writing,” Personal Pleasures

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