Keen Prose 1

Keen Prose 1

I’ve started the “Keen Prose” thread, where I’ll post phrases from authors whose pen’s I’m not fit to lick. It’s the word choices and phrases that bring smiles, and convey buckets of meaning in the tightest structure.


“On the following morning, whilst Major Sands was sulking, like Achilles, in his tent…”

The Black Swan

Rafael Sabatini

Footnote: I’ve always loved Sabatini – next to Wells, he is the author who’s work comes across as poetry to me. And Major Sands in The Black Swan is the smoldering dufus who is being outwitted and outdone by the flashing hero, Charles de Bernis. Comparing the resentful Sands to Achilles is pretty sharp, since anyone who has read the Iliad remembers Achilles and his sit-down strike, and while he was the hero amongst heroes, this clever wording is Sabatini’s little shared joke with his more well-read readers.