Friday, September 30, 2011

Language as a lens

"The writer can zoom up on any part of the picture that is already framed by the original sentence. In the following example, that means zooming up on either the container or the palm.

For instance, assume the branches of the palm are the detail of interest. Without any word of transition, only a twist of zoom lens represented by the comma, the sentence can now read: "The rhapis palm sat in a large, white container, the branches stretching into the air". The writer can place a comma after air and zoom up something framed in this part of the sentence. This time the zoom can only be on the branches of air bcause the "camera" has focused on them, cutting the general description of the palm and container out of the picture.

Suppose there is nothing of interest about the air, but the branches have interesting joiunts or nodes. Zooming in on those, the sentences would now read: "The rhapis palm sat in a large, white container, the branches stretching into the air, fibrous joints knuckling the otherwise smooth surface.""

                                                                                - Writeful (Gary Hoffman)