I was late setting off to work this morning; the reason needn’t detain us here, Dear Reader, and, as such I found myself listening to In Our Time on Radio4. I like IOT, diverse and challenging (explain the meaning of this really complex area so that mortal listeners can understand it, in 15 seconds, would you Prof), but don’t normally hear it. As I only listen to the radio when in the car, and I’m usually at work by 9.
So, IOT. It was on Laurence Stearne’s Tristram Shandy. This got me thinking about Grammar. Laurence generated a very unconventional masterpiece. Now, of course, I haven’t read it myself. A friend once gave me a copy of it and told me it was a masterpiece, a genre breaking work that redefined what the novel could be, and what writing could be. But, Dear Reader, incomprehensible, and I couldn’t manage more than a few pages……!…….Apparently, L had used various literally/literacy new devices to engage his readers (who he addressed directly, Dear Reader, as if the reader were an actual part of the text). As if. But should writing, either within or without the rules of writing, immerse the reader in the text? Should it not grab the reader by the nether regions and shout, – listen to me!! Dear Reader, shouldn’t all writing have something to SAY??
I (happily) digress.
Writing can do that. Digress. Take us off on a journey – sometimes of discovery, sometimes of perplexity – sometimes of nonsense and entertainment. But, would Grandma like it, Dear Reader; would she appreciate the use (mis-use) of structural form, of Grammar?!?
L left big spaces in TS (so they said on R4; I haven’t actually read it; started once or twice, but too avant garde for me – but I digress) for you, Dear Reader, to place your own meaning.
Much like this blog post…..but I digress…..