The Line

Woman standing on the tideline, The Linnet's Wings House Art

The line may be elegant and graceful or infused with a powerfully rhythmic and whiplike force. In the graphic arts the line subordinates all other pictorial elements: form, texture, space, and colour to its own decorative effect.

The author is talking about Art Nouveau, but he/she might well be expressing the form of a sentence, he/she might well say that when writing descriptive prose, the sentence may well be infused with a powerful rhythmic and whiplike force or it may be elegant and graceful layered with tone, space, texture, metaphor.

I bought two books during the week which underscore the above: Banville’s 'The Sea' and Elton John’-'s Autobiography 'Me.'

Blurbs on the covers: 'They are hits of some delicious drugs, these sentences.' 'Sea' 'The rock memoir of the decade.' 'Me'

First Lines and their Immediate follow up:

'They departed, the gods, on the day of the strange tide. All morning under the milky sky the waters in the bay had swelled and swelled, rising to unheard-of heights, the small waters creeping over parched sand that for years had known no wetting save for rain and lapping the very bases of the dunes.' --The Sea

'I was onstage at the Latino Club in South Shields when I realised I couldn’t take it anymore. It was one of those supper clubs that were all over Britain in the sixties and seventies, all virtually identical people dressed in suits, seated at tables, eating chicken in a basket, and drinking wine out of bottles covered in wicker covered lampshades and flock wallpaper; cabaret and compere in a bow tie.' 'Me'

And the challenge is to weave a thread through character, dialogue and setting …

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