Tuesday, February 07, 2006
I liked this in ‘Saturday’ because it seems to capture with clarity those occasions when writing suddenly gets tough: ‘What dragged him back was an unfamiliar lack of fluency. He prides himself on speed and a sleek, wry style. It never needs much forethought –typing and composing are one. Now he was stumbling. And though the professional jargon didn’t desert him – it’s second nature – his prose accumulated awkwardly. Individual words brought to mind unwieldy objects – bicycles, deckchairs, coathangers – strewn across his path. He composed a sentence in his head, then lost it on the page, or typed himself into a grammatical cul-de-sac and had to sweat his way out.’ I reckon that’s McEwan at his best, capturing the small detail of lived experience.