Stammering was Re: Weaknesses of Nine Lifed Enchanters and Re A Sinister Subject

Melissa Proffitt Melissa at Proffitt.com
Tue Apr 3 00:55:28 EDT 2001


On Sat, 31 Mar 2001 23:51:37 +0100, Ven wrote:


>Slightly on topic you don't get severe stammerers in books, let 
>alone television. I've thought of having a go but realised it would be 
>very frustrating to the reader to go through an accurate 
>representation of clotted speech. Perhaps it could be done by 
>contrasting the elegant sentences forming in the character's head 
>with the travesties they are forced to come out with. (Does this 
>topic strike a nerve with me, oh yes).

Tim Powers' new book _Declare_ has a stammerer as one of the main
characters--I think he's the villain, but I'm only partway through and
nothing Powers does is ever clear at first.  It's fascinating because his
stammer makes him seem kind of benign (apologies to Ven and other former and
current stammerers, but don't you think that stammering is usually portrayed
as arising from nervousness? like Michael Palin's character in "A Fish
Called Wanda") but he's actually quite sinister, a double agent and
everything.  Powers pulls it off well, and I don't think it's any harder to
read than what's-his-name in _Feersum Endjinn_ by Iain M. Banks, also an
extremely complicated book.

Now, let's see how soon this message is delivered....

Melissa Proffitt
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