1. Hadouken
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    Hadouken New Member

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    Books with tight prose.

    Discussion in 'Book Discussion' started by Hadouken, Feb 9, 2012.

    I'm looking for books that have tight prose. I'm in the middle of John Steinbeck's East of Eden, and his style of prose is a perfect example of what I enjoy reading. Here is an excerpt:

    Our species is the only creative species, and it has only one creative instrument, the individual mind and spirit of a man. Nothing was ever created by two men. There are no good collaborations, whether in music, in art, in poetry, in mathematics, in philosophy. Once the miracle of creation has taken place, the group can build and extend it, but the group never invents anything. The preciousness lies in the lonely mind of a man.

    And now the forces marshaled around the concept of the group have declared a war of extermination on that preciousness, the mind of man. By disparagement, by starvation, by repressions, forced direction, and the stunning hammerblows of conditioning, the free, roving mind is being pursued, roped, blunted, drugged. It is a sad suicidal course our species seems to have taken.

    And this I believe: that the free, exploring mind of the individual human is the most valuable thing in the world. And this I would fight for: the freedom of the mind to take any direction it wishes, undirected. And this I must fight against: any idea, religion, or government which limits or destroys the individual. This is what I am and what I am about. I can understand why a system built on a pattern must try to destroy the free mind, for that is the one thing which can by inspection destroy such a system. Surely I can understand this, and I hate it and I will fight against it to preserve the one thing that separates us from the uncreative beasts. If the glory can be killed, we are lost.
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Hemingway
     
  3. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I'm a big fan of Steinbeck, and a huge fan of East of Eden, but "tight" is not the first adjective that comes to mind when I think of Steinbeck's prose. He's usually excellent, especially with original imagery. But tight? How do you define tight?

    When I think of tight prose, I think of the kind of clipped, minimalist prose used by short story writers like Raymond Carver. Steinbeck, on the other hand, is expansive and generous in his prose, and I like him all the more for it.
     
  4. Hadouken
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    Hadouken New Member

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    Yeah, after I reread my post, tight might not be the appropriate word for Steinbeck. His prose flows so well that it feels tight. I often get very frustrated with muddled prose. An other book I've read that I really enjoyed the prose: Albert Camus's The Stranger.

    I'll give Hemingway and Raymond Carver a shot.
     

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