Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Pet hates

I hate

1/ novels that don’t use quotation marks around direct speech

2/ first person journalistic pieces that are written in the historic present – e.g. I am attending my son’s school concert, and in the entrance hall I bump into my ex-wife.

3/ novels written in the present tense

4/ folding up king size sheets in the kitchen with a person who thinks it is funny to keep on twisting the sheet.

p.s. I have realised that number 3 is not true, as my current favourite novel is When We Were Bad by Charlotte Mendelson. Perhaps I should therefore say “I wish people wouldn’t write novels in the present tense.” (But that sounds rather mealy-mouthed, so maybe I should just delete this postscript.)

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