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I’ve been rereading Anne Perry’s William Monk mysteries. I know they’re not on my reading list, nor are they connected to my bookclub (I’m supposed to be reading Adam Levin’s The Instructions currently), but when life is stressful, I don’t pick up a 1000-page book (Levin) or a Russian novel (Crime & Punishment, from my own list)* — I turn to one of my old favourites. Plus, these Victorian mysteries count as research for a project I’m working on.
Besides creating great characters set in well-detailed historical settings, Perry is good at selecting just the right word at the right time. Her writing isn’t necessarily “high-class” literature, but I often find myself noting a particular word she chose.
Such was the case with this one: nascent. What a word! And so spring-like, too.
- from Latin nascēns present participle of nāscī to be born
- beginning to exist or develop; coming into existence; emerging.
- of or relating to the state of a chemical element at the moment
it is set free from one of its compounds.
- synonyms: budding, blossoming, burgeoning, bursting forth,
When I was searching for quotes that used nascent, they tended to be about philosophy or art history, as if it were only fit for research writing. I was pleased to finally find one writer who saw its poetic potential —
Dave Eggers, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius:
We are the bright new stars born of a screaming black hole,
the nascent suns burst from the darkness, from the grasping
void of space that fold and swallows — a darkness that would
devour anyone not as strong as we.
Wow. I’ve heard of Eggers before, but not yet read any of his books. But, for that quote alone, I think I need to remedy that.
Any Dave Egger’s suggestions? Any comments on this book of his?
*I still plan to read my 2013 list and will eventually tackle Levin’s 1000-page book, just not this week. :)