Did no one ever tell you this?

Some recent posts by Richard Gilbert made me very curious, Gilbert was quoting Verlyn Klinkenborg saying things like:

Chronology is a trap. It’s not natural; our own interior world is not chronological. Always resist chronology


The sentence is the basis of your art. Think, make sentences, and revise. Rhythm is everything, first and last. Talking is natural, writing is not. It takes years of work.

I am struggling to become a better writer, I’m very open to new ideas and old experience. Klinkenborg writes more on his own method in Several Short Sentences About Writing, which I have yet to read. But I guess one can get a good idea about his project by reading this little text

– I’m all ears …

5 Comments Add yours

  1. cynthia says:

    “Chronology is a trap.” Nice reminder. Thanks.

  2. I’m not a fan of Klinkenborg’s, though I agree with the notion about the sentence as the basis of this particular art.

    Maybe I will change my mind about this author. What are you finding in the writing that you like?

    A book that is not full of instructions but that uses sentences as examples for rhythmic, elegant, concise, or otherwise beautiful means of expression is Virginia Tufte’s “Artful Sentences: Syntax as Style.”

    1. Sigrun says:

      I will tell you what I think, if I have learned something, if I liked what I learned … etc., when I have studied his text in some detail.
      What is it that you don’t like?

      1. I read his columns in the New York Times. He lives in a rural area and often writes lovingly–almost too lovingly, almost…stereotypically, perhaps–about rural life. But I find myself not entirely believing him.

        It may be just the brevity of the column, and the audience he’s writing for, which is mostly urban I imagine; maybe they want more of the light touch or romanticized country life in prose. I haven’t read his longer essays (collected into books such as “Making Hay”) or this recent book. Perhaps doing so will change my opinion of his work.

        I will keep an open mind!

      2. Sigrun says:

        I noticed there were negative opinions also from his urban readers.

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