Writers Fight Ostentatiously

Well, not really. But over at Contemporary Nomad, Kevin Wignall does have a great little post about the controversial, rarely humble adverb. He offers the last paragraph of Joyce’s "The Dead" in the adverb’s defense:

"A few light taps upon the pane made him turn to the window. It had begun to snow again. He watched sleepily the flakes, silver and dark, falling obliquely against the lamplight. The time had come for him to set out on his journey westward. Yes, the newspapers were right: snow was general all over Ireland. It was falling on every part of the dark central plain, on the treeless hills, falling softly upon the Bog of Allen and, farther westward, softly falling into the dark mutinous Shannon waves. It was falling, too, upon every part of the lonely churchyard on the hill where Michael Furey lay buried. It lay thickly drifted on the crooked crosses and headstones, on the spears of the little gate, on the barren thorns. His soul swooned slowly as he heard the snow falling faintly through the universe and faintly falling, like the descent of their last end, upon all the living and the dead."

At least one other writer would agree. (There’s some interesting conversation in the comments.)

In writing, as in life: Everything in moderation, except when excess is demanded.

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