“The meticulous enumeration of physical characteristics, used so much in bad novels, serves no purpose. Every new characteristic, rather than blending with the preceding ones and little by little completing the portrait, cancels them, so to speak, and increases the fog that forms between the page and the reader. On the other hand, when Gide says of Claudel, ‘As a young man he had the look of a nail; now he seems a pestle,’ Claudel is immediately present, vivid, even though we do not know if he is tall or short, or what color his eyes are… Lautréamont describes the beauty of the Grand Duke of Virginia thus:  ‘Handsome as a dissertation on the curve that a dog describes running toward its master.'”

~ Aldo Buzzi, Journey to the Land of the Flies


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