Archive for November 9, 2008

Descriptive Writing in Kazakhstan: G. K. Chesterton

G. K. Chesterton is a master of description which my Kazakh students could take heed to. Here are some examples of a character of his short story “The Secret Garden.”
“When Valentin arrived he was already dressed in black clothes and the red rosette–an elegant figure, his dark beard already streaked with grey…He saw all the other pillars of the little party; he saw Lord Galloway, the English Ambassador–a choleric old man with a russet face like an apple, wearing the blue ribbon of the Garter. He saw Lady Galloway, slim and threadlike, with silver hair and a face sensitive and superior. He saw her daughter, Lady Margaret Graham, a plae and pretty girl with an elfish face and copper-coloured hair. He saw the Duchess of Mont St. Michel, black-eyed and opulent, and with her two daughters, black-eyed and opulent also. He saw Dr. Simon, a typical Frechn scientist, with glasses, a pointed broawn beard, and a forehead barred with those parallel wrinkles which are the penalty of superciliousness, since they come through constantly elevating the eyebrows.”

Another description by G.K. Chesterton from his short story entitled “The Blue Cross:” “There was nothing notable about this man, except a slight contrast between the holiday gaiety of his clothes and the official gravity of his face. His clothes included a slight, pale grey jacket, a white waistcoat, and a silver straw hat with a grey-blue ribbon. His lean face was dark by contrast, and ended in a curt black beard that looked Spanish and suggested an Elizabethan ruff. He was smoking a cigarette with the seriousness of an idler…”

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