linguistic heavy machinery

Arnold M. Zwicky zwicky at CSLI.STANFORD.EDU
Sat May 27 17:08:31 UTC 2006

Walter Kirn, "Russian Unorthodox", review of _Absurdistan_ by Gary
Shteyngart, NYT Book Review 4/30/06, p. 10:

Shteyngart and [his character] Misha, exuberant depressives, don't
stint on the syntax or the verbiage when objects huge and rotten hulk
into view.  Their thick, overloaded style is what happens, though,
when socialist realism decays into black comedy.  This is the pose of
heroic disappointment, faintly labored at moments but fitted to the
task of shoveling up mountains of cultural debris.  Hemingway's clean
sentences wouldn't do here.  A man needs commas, semicolons,
adjectives.  He requires linguistic heavy machinery.

The American Dialect Society -

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