Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass. –Anton Chekhov
I’m confused by the category into which this post has been placed.
Clearly it’s the category of all posts which have no category.
It’s a quote about writing. Show, don’t tell.
Bah. When Chekhov was good, he was brilliant, as with the following bit of advice: “Everything not relevant to the story must be ruthlessly cut away. If in the first chapter you say that a gun hung on the wall, in the second or third chaper it must without fail be discharged.”
Now note how that clashes with the moonlight-glinting-on-broken-glass bit. Chekhov would be the first to ask: “What was the glass object originally? Who broke it? And what does it, or he, have to do with the main body of the plot?”
Stylistic arabesques are, far more often than not, indicators that the writer prefers showing off to storytelling. He’s shouting, “Hey, look how literary I am! I know all about similes, metaphores, metonymies, images, synecdoches, litotes and so forth! Here’s one right now!” Perhaps that’s because he doesn’t know how to tell an arresting story, or doesn’t have one to tell.
I am looking for the name of the author and the title of the book popularized by the press that stated such myths as men commonly abandoned wife and children into poverty to run off with their young secretary and live the wealthy playboy lifestyle. It was quoted extensively as the justification for VAWA without question. Later investigation found the data was false, misrepresented, and unsupported. That professor later admitted she had made “math errors” and refused interviews once exposed.
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