|East Door: Killing of the First Born Sons|
I just finished reading my wonderful set of Rita entries for this year. And what can I tell you about the ones I have read and judged in the past 6 weeks?
Not the characters, save one, whose antics frankly irritated me by the end more than thrilled me.
Not the plots, save two, which were so very unique I smiled as I read and still do, weeks later.
|West Door: Peter's Denial in the Garden|
Voice, that indefinable "something" that editors go into raptures over. Voice, that sparkling-vibrant-uniquely can't-do-without quality that
makes a book memorable.
This lot I read this year had copious, delicious heaps and heaps of voice.
And yet what precisely defines Voice? Could I put my finger on it?
Voice. That essence of prose that lifts it above the ordinary.
That quality of rhetoric that distinguishes the work from others in its genre, period and peers.
That certain something that matches the mood of the work to the characters' conflicts and the plots twists and turns.
|West Door: Judas's Kiss|
We can speak of it with eloquence when we talk about the works of visual artists. Leonardo. Van Gogh. Picasso. Antoni Gaudi. Mies van der Rohe.
Voice. Like Jane Austen's. Daphne du Maurier's. Elmore Leonard's. Jacqueline Winspear's.
Voice. It is what I strive for. It is why I look at every sentence. Why I go with a flow. How I edit myself.
What is your definition of voice?
Which voices do you like? What are the works that represent that author best?
Do note the above photos: These are my pictures of La Sagrada Familia, the Sacred Family Basilica in Barcelona, Spain designed by Antoni Gaudi, which years after his death is still under construction. His more classical representations on the East Door of the Nativity are as much a part of his Voice as the one's on the West Door, commonly known as the Door of Death. Here you can see the stark, harsh modern representation of Judas Kissing Christ, and the lonely and despairing Peter who has just Denied Christ in the Garden. All, to me, are stunningly beautiful evocations of Gaudi's voice.