Monday, April 11, 2011

The opening sentence of DFW's The Pale King

"Past the flannel plains and blacktop graphs and skylines of canted rust, and past the tobacco-​brown river overhung with weeping trees and coins of sunlight through them on the water downriver, to the place beyond the windbreak, where untilled fields simmer shrilly in the a.m. heat: shattercane, lamb’s‑quarter, cutgrass, sawbrier, nutgrass, jimsonweed, wild mint, dandelion, foxtail, muscadine, spinecabbage, goldenrod, creeping charlie, butter-​print, nightshade, ragweed, wild oat, vetch, butcher grass, invaginate volunteer beans, all heads gently nodding in a morning breeze like a mother’s soft hand on your cheek."
-- David Foster Wallace, The Pale King

1 comment:

Tania Kindersley said...

Oh I love that. I know people will say it is overwritten, because it is, and maybe if there had been time for a second draft he would have killed a couple of those darlings himself, but anyone who loves language that much must get an A star in my book.

I like canted rust best. I do not even know what canted means, but I love how it falls on the ear.

PS Adored Clint Eastwood dog.