Written Passages That You Like

This thread is a repository of your favorite passages and quotes from novels and non-fiction work, including magazine or newspaper articles. Include favorite sections of song lyrics or even poems (or even entire short poems themselves) . The emphasis is on good writing–the skillful composition and organization of ideas through the written word, exemplifying good technique, mastery of language, including le mot juste, and the ability to make a passage sound appealing to one’s ear, especially when read out loud*. The content is secondary, although I suspect the best writing often marries the masterful use of language and high quality ideas. (Are there any passages that contain masterful use of language that is largely empty or even devoid of ideas? First answer that comes to mind: the chorus or even lyrics of a good pop tune; a specific example of this: a Jim Morrison song, like “Break on Through to the Other Side.”)

(*Ironically, I struggled to express the last idea in this passage–i.e., the ability to make a passage sound good, giving it a musical quality. I’m not really happy what I wrote, not only because of the word choice, but it’s not a symmetrically fit with “le mot juste.” I thought of using some other expression than the latter, but by the time I thought of that I had already spent more time than I wanted to, and just gave up. Plus, I wanted to use that expression, as I don’t get to very often. If you guys have a suggestions for a better way of expressing that idea, including a better way of writing the entire sentence, I’d be interested in hearing them. I think that would be perfectly appropriate for the thread!)

One thought on “Written Passages That You Like

  1. Lawfare blog was one of the best discoveries during the 2016 election. The quality of political (and legal) writing and the thoughtfulness, including nuanced thinking are superb. I really like Benjamin Wittes, Susan Hennesey and Quinta Jurecic, to name a few.

    Here’s an example of this from a recent post:

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