Phish: 02/25/1993 Sparkle [VQ: A-, AQ: A-]

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J0JOTJGHMaU[/youtube]

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  1. What a beautiful post. Your doerciptisn of the speck on the carriageway makes me think of Omar Sharif’s arrival in Lawrence of Arabia. I’m also reminded of two wonderful films from my student days about artists – La Belle Noiseuse, which consists of little but 3 hours of an artist painting a model, and Quince Tree Sun, which follows an artist for a year as he paints a single tree in different seasons, directed by Victor Erice who was responsible for the most beautiful piece of magic realist cinema, The Spirit of the Beehive, about a girl and a travelling cinema in Franco’s Spain – so much more powerful than Cinema Paradiso. And possibly my favourite magic realist film Jesus of Montreal.This is a difficult subject, though. There are far too many writers of a certain kind of literary fiction (sadly it’s the one I love best) who mistake sensuality for “beautiful writing” and deliver passage on passage of exquisite descriptive prose that falls utterly flat because it fails to breathe, is not the life force on which the novel draws – it’s the difference between a pretty painting and a transcendent one (a lovely landscape and a Caravaggio). And the problem is that because this kind of beautiful writing is often equated with luxuriant sensuality, readers are put off before they reach the truly unctuous stuff. The best I’ve come across in recent years is Marie Darrieussecq’s Breathing Underwater. Interesting that you cite a short story – I think this is something at which short fiction particuarly excels because you avoid the danger of over-richness whilst still having the space for rhythm.

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