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Long Tedious Work

"Each and every time he found a word that piqued his interest he wrote it down, in tiny, almost microscopic letters, in its proper position in the quire he had made."
~The Professor and the Madman by Simon Winchester, page 139

I think I liked the second half better than the first. The first half was mostly just setting the stage for the main part of the story. The second half was the heart of the story, pardon the cliché. Though, as I stated in class, the fact portion sometimes seemed to drag on for too long, it was necessary to understand the story-telling parts. One way in which this was true for me is that I gained a greater appreciation for what they went through to create this monstrous work. Yes, I realize it should be obvious that it wasn’t easy, but I never really stopped to think about it before. When Winchester wrote about how the readers had to go through many different books, pick out words, and define those words based on context, I remembered having to do something similar, though mild in comparison. In grade school, one of my teachers sometimes had us look up certain vocabulary words in our text books and refused to let us use the glossary. We had to define it strictly on context—granted, the words we needed to define were bold and or blue and sometimes had the definition spelled out shortly afterwards. I remember how tedious and annoying that could be, and that was nothing compared to what those people had to do. I definitely have a lot of respect for them.

It was definitely effective on the author's part to include this information. It is easy to overlook the work behind something when you see the ready made finished copy. In including this information, Winchester forces the reader to truly think about what was involved.


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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on September 16, 2007 8:38 PM.

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