Literary Liaisons

A blog about writing and all things story…

Armored Prose

Do you want to improve your writing? Hopefully the answer is yes.
If so, read on. If not, God bless ya! But, remember that to be a
writer means accepting that there will always be masters to learn
from and who came long, long before you/us. This means that to
be a writer is a lifelong apprenticeship. That’s all I’m sayin’.

So, speaking of masters; this is an excerpt from Jack Remick and Robert Ray’s Blog. If you haven’t visited their blog, then do, and if you have you know it’s like a college course. Here’s one segment I read this morning that I wanted to share. It’s worth studying, as is everything they ever produce.

“Mark Twain hated Armored Prose.
In a segment of a recent Ken Burns documentary on Mark Twain, Burns says: Huckleberry Finn caused a scandal. The novel was banned. Not banned because of the race relations in it or because of Jim’s relationship to Huck, but because, Burns says, Huck Finn’s language glorified an ignorant boy. The language, was raw and crude and uneducated and in dialect and it was, worst of all, true.

Mark Twain discovered, Burns tells us, the cure for Armored Prose. He discovered the cure for the received language, and that is why Ernest Hemingway wrote, in The Green Hills of Africa–it’s the best book we’ve had. All American writing comes from that. There was nothing before. There has been nothing as good since. Before Huck Finn, there was no American writing.”
To read, no STUDY this article please visit Jack and Bob’s Blog. As always, it’s brilliant and great lesson in language.

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2 comments on “Armored Prose

  1. Stephen Hayes
    October 31, 2011

    Mark Twain was certainly a great writer and the comment about a "life apprenticeship" is certainly true. I was recently watching a cooking program and the master chef described himself as a "genius." At first I was put off by his arrogance until he explained, "I'm not a genius by virtue of my skills or intelligence, I'm a genius because I refuse to quit learning." The more I think about it , the more I like that definition.

  2. Jack
    October 31, 2011

    Thank you Mindy.

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This entry was posted on October 31, 2011 by in Armored Prose.
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