I haven’t been posting very regularly, I know. I’ve been sick. I’ve been tired, and frankly, I haven’t had a great deal of readers clamoring for more. Despite this, I have something to say…
Today, something depressing happened: I finished The Wise Man’s Fear. The book isn’t depressing, my response to it was. I have said before that when I read, I tend to process the work on several levels: story, craft, and a category I call the memorable turn of phrase.
I often cringed as I read The Wise Man’s Fear. Not because there was anything wrong or disagreeable about the book, quite the contrary. No, the problem is that when I read, I normally find occasion to think, “I could have said that better, or differently, or using less words.” That did not happen, not once, while I read this book. Instead, I marveled at something on nearly every page, muttering about the smooth eloquence of the writing, the storytelling, the world-building, or the character development. I also found the story moving and absorbing in ways I did not expect.
When reading other works, I have often felt it was only a matter of practice and patience before my craft might reach parity with the work in front of me. Not so with Pat Rothfuss. No matter how long I practice, I don’t think I shall ever reach that level of eloquence. Not ever. It is pure talent that elevates the book beyond simple hard work.
Yet I will try, in my own fashion, to convey the stories I have to tell.