Saturday, December 9, 2023

The Voice of Great Writers

 Ask Ed, and he will impart that I have an inability not to take on the accent of where ever we are. In the South, Boston, Texas, where ever. It is an almost involuntary response that is probably very annoying. When I notice it, like England, I can make it bigger and stupid and can fall out of it. But I still find myself having to actively keep regular phrasing and cadence - at least for a while.

I remember once I was in Germany for a date (long story) with Peter, who's first language is German. The difference in verb / noun placement, the stutter of thinking, and trying to find the easiest words to say, I was unconsciously mimicking. So it was Mother's Day, and I called my mom from Frankfurt. I remember saying Happy Mother's Day to her, and trying to find the right words and order. She asked, seriously albeit nicely, "Scott, are you drunk?"

It broke me out of my head, and I was able to talk normally again. I did confirm that I was not. And it was true, the time difference meant I called her very early in the morning.

Well, that isn't the central point of this. 

I do the same thing when reading or seeing a play (TV - not so much). It is like falling into the moment and enjoying the hell out of it. If I read my old play reviews, the reviews from Shakespeare are pretentious. The reviews of avant-garde shows are full of half phrases connected in spirit but not always in purpose. 

But my most interesting turn is reading and writing. After reading E F Benson, my writing takes on the run-on sentences, completely with commas where one should put periods, and modeled so that every sentence contains at least one, possibly three new thoughts.

This is all very much apropos of nothing much, except I say the end of Good Omens 2, and I found myself thinking in that style.

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