Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Brevity : Underestimated

Ernest Hemingway was once asked to convey a story in 3 sentences, purportedly as part of a bet at a bar. He upped it a notch by saying it in 6 words. The famous shortest story went "For Sale. Baby Shoes. Never Used".

The point of fiction is to inspire emotions or thoughts in someone, which are an escape from everyday reality. The ability of a writer to execute this inspiration in not so many words is key. Hemingway's genius is subtly evident in that six word classified ad - as they make one think. A child who just passed away? A shopping trip gone wrong? There could be so much behind those six words, which he has left to our imagination. Flash fiction was born.

Brevity is an oft underestimated talent. One sentence, if conceptualized thoughtfully and used tastefully, could stand for a thousand paragraphs. Not just in the world of script writing or song writing, but even in the social world; in conversation. Somewhere down this generation's traversal of time, we have stopped to study the impact of our words. Switching between TCM and NBC highlights a significant and heightened modification in what was/is considered to be intense articulation. Even in our new-found fascination for dark and sarcastic humor.

"like ... uhh .... that's what i'm saying ... uhhh ... man .... this whole .... new.... uhh .... political... thing. ... you know ... uhh .. its pretty f***ed up, isn't it?"

Wow, is that because of the writer's strike, or are you actually one of those intellectually defunct organisms?

In other news, shout out to "Global Shanti" for a "W"onderful "W"eekend. Cafe Boulud was tres classy et magnifique, as was SM and the candid conversations between martinis. Here's to expensive dorm rooms and summer!

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