What’s she cooking up? “Grammar means that it has to be prepared and cooked…” (How to Write)
There are always surprises. Until a few days ago, I had never seen this photo of Gert and Alice in their country kitchen, in Occupied France, in 1942. It was found by my friend, Stein collector Hans Gallas, who created the international events for “Gertrude and Alice: 100 Years, 100 Roses” http://www.archives.scene4.com/jun-2007/html/karrenalenier0607.html– the 100th anniversary of their first meeting, Nov. 7, 1907, resp. 2007. (See the website and blog at http://gertrudeandalice.com/blog/) As far as I know nobody who was anybody has had photographic access to the privacy of Alice’s kitchen.
Like a child, Gertie is peeking into Alice’s big pot under what looks like a French flash-light. She herself would be cooking up words of course. And sentences. And paragraphs. “A sentence is not emotional a paragraph is.”
For her Sunday special, it would perhaps be a sentence that holds the emotional energy and charge of a whole paragraph. Here now a few examples that she dished up for her American audience when she went to explain poetry and grammar and “How to write”:
“…I worked a lot at this thing trying to find out just exactly what the balance the emotional balance of a sentence is and what the emotional balance of a paragraph is and if it were possible to make even in a short sentence the two things come to be one. I think I did a few times succeed. Will you listen to one or two sentences where I did think I had done this thing.
“He looks like a young man grown old.”
“It looks like a garden but he had hurt himself by accident.”
“A dog which you have never had before has sighed.”
“Battles are named because there have been hills which have made a hill in a battle.”
“A bay and hills hills are surrounded by their having their distance very near.”
“The thing to remember is that if it is not if it is not what having left it to them makes it be very likely as likely as they would be after all after all choosing choosing to be here on time.”
And did she succeed?
I would add this very convincing sentence-paragraph: Why do something if it can be done.