Sunday, February 09, 2003

Joyful Read

I mentioned before that I was reading a biography of the first Queen Elizabeth of England after seeing the movie for a second time. Well, I put that sucker away. It was over my head. I don't have enough background knowledge to really appreciate what the author was saying.

What better way to resolve the situation? Easy, pick up the first volume of Winston Churchill's 'History of the English Speaking Peoples.' Sure was a lot of killing going on back in the old days. The more things change...

I was reading the first volume of his books about the second world war a few months ago until I left my personal copy on the bus. If you know me long enough you will notice a theme that runs through my life: I lose stuff all the time. That's why I don't wear a watch on my wrist, I keep a timepiece in my backpack. Every time I delve into Churchill I am always amazed by his command of the language. You can't read one of his books without having a dictionary nearby. He had the ability to go deep into the meaning of a word. He can also use a word in a way that requires the reader to read a unique meaning into a word depending on the context in which it is used. I guess all great writing does that but it's always a revelation to me when someone does it well. He can do with one word that others several words seperated by dashes. Is there a term for that practice. Anyone know?

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