5.The Art of Disproportion
@19 December 1998
Every writer creates a pattern from disproportions. The proportionate is that checkerboard of nights and days within which our lives are governed, the routine of sleep, how you part your hair, when you check for your mail, the trips to the shop that you make when bread or vegetables run out, the people you encounter at the bus stop, what you say to the lady you see on Thursdays. Words, though, in their nature are disproportionate against the proportion of experience. This note itself is a caricature.
So how does a writer differ from the language makers all around him, the cacophony of chatterers? By writing a symphony. The disproportions of our conversation are artless, for where there are patterns they are unconscious, and where there is significance, it is selfish. The writer is able to create patterns from disproportion which create newly defined significance, a fresh reality. He marshals the trivia of random occurrence into an enterprise with purpose and direction, just as a musician marshals noise into music.
All opinions expressed in Thor's Unwise Ideas and The Passionate Skeptic are entirely those of the author, who has no aim to influence, proselytize or persuade others to a point of view. He is pleased if his writing generates reflection in readers, either for or against the sentiment of the argument.
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