Writing English Prose

David Bentley Hart:

To my mind, each is in its own way a perfect, exquisitely faceted gem of English prose from an especially glorious literary epoch. The music of the one has haunted me for most of my life; the gleeful perversity of the other has lost none of its power to make me laugh in nearly four decades. And, however great the joy I take in either of these passages in isolation, it is as nothing compared to the idiot bliss I derive from their juxtaposition. Taken together, they ideally illustrate the two extremes of the great man’s voice: on the one hand, its glowing beauty and spacious sonority; on the other, its anfractuous density and heedless flamboyance.