2004-10-05

Slowly but Surely

337 decent okay sorts of words and a font-experiment:

Last night, as I began reading Plot Against America, I was struck, as I always am, by Roth's sure touch. His sentences have a sense of authorial certainty that I envy to no end. Every word is perfectly chosen, every clause indelible, every detail indispensible. How many writers can really list all the ways women work, all the things they cook and clean and organize daily, filling a long paragraph with this list, and not seem like they're just jerking off on the page? (I didn't mean to conjure up Portnoy with that statement, but there you go.) I was ruminating about this, and then I began to wonder if maybe how his sentences LOOK, art-wise on the page, has anything to do with this --

-- so today I came into the office and surfed around to find a font that approximates that in the new novel and the copy of American Pastoral that's in the office. I ended up at fonts.com, where fonts aren't free but at least you don't have to wade through "surveys" to get to the good stuff. I searched by sight, and came up with a font called Hollander, which I bought and installed on my machine. Then I killed a bunch of time making my Chapter 1 look a lot like Chapter 1 of American Pastoral ... and I gotta admit, Maud Newton was right on the money:

My work looks better and I'm willing to convince myself it reads better, and with that Dumbo-esque metaphorical-flying-feather in mind, I managed to get Anna out of Hillsdale and onto Route 44. Yippee!

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