Thursday, April 06, 2006


I am irritated by my own writing. I am like a violinist whose ear is true, but whose fingers refuse to reproduce precisely the sound he hears within.

- Gustave Flaubert (

And he's even said that so much better than I *ever* could.

And you know what's worse? If I attempted to verbalise that same thought? I would write word. after. painful. word. I would struggle with sentences, pythonic, constricting, squeezing the breath out of that small idea, which (as ideas are wont to be) is defenceless against the twin WMDs of verbosity and vocabulary.

See what I mean?



Arthur Quiller Couch said...

Stop fishing, woman. My good friend Mr. Sarkar has already complimented you on your writing.

As for the Flaubert thing, think of the man who used to play one unchanging drone on his beat-up violin at the corner of 8th and 42nd. Somebody asked him why he didn't, well, move his fingers around and play some other notes and he said with lofty disdain "They're all looking for the right place. I have found it!"

Would you want to be like that?

Chronicus Skepticus said...

Sir Couch,

We weren't, honest *truly*!

This was, if anything, the result of a chain reaction started off by Mr. Sarkar's comment/compliment*.

See, post-(reading)comment enthusiasm sat us down to write and what we came up with was, well...not even post-worthy. And for heaven's sake, if it can't be posted on your blog, then...well...the dear-GOD-did-*I*-write-this??-ness of it boggles the mind, does it not?

But then, how would you know.

Oh and just to remind you, you owe us dope.

And no, I wouldn't want to be like the violin-man, but thank you for the example. :)

*For which, let it be known, we are truly grateful. Sougata, it meant a whole lot coming from you.

Falstaff said...

errr...setting our sights a little high aren't we? Being upset because you can't express things as well as Flaubert is like saying your violin work never comes out sounding like Isaac Stern's*. Why not start with someone simpler as a benchmark? Like Banville for instance.

* unless you're Naipaul, of course, in which case you can just puff out your self-important chest and proclaim that Flaubert, too, is overrated.

Chronicus Skepticus said...

Ouch, Falstaff, no.

Comparision with Flaubert was not what I was getting at.

This was not despair at not being able to express myself as well as Flaubert; it was despair at not being able to express myself with any amount of clarity at all.

I have not read anything by Banville...I guess this would be a good time to start.

And no, not Naipaul.