Exercise Day 8

The Excerpt:

“This happened not too long ago. A British flag was hoisted above the Paris. The Paris was the Russian steamer Juliet, abducted by the Whites in 1919. Juliet sailed the Mediterranean and the Sea of Marmara for four years, and then joined the Anatolian Line. Last December, she sailed from Constantinople to Zunguldak for coal. In Zunguldak her first officer went to the maritime agent.” — Isaac Babel, Paris and Juliet

Analysis: short and punctuated. Each sentence is very similar in length — like taking measured steps — and each one advances a new idea. A bit flat in terms of progression, but pleasing. The end is rather anticlimactic.


The Exercise:

He was drafted at eighteen and killed at eighteen and a half. He had dark lashes and a competent bearing, but a softness about his eyes. He was still shorter than his father, still growing. He would have gotten a few inches taller if he’d lived to be twenty-one. When he died his foxhole mate spit on the ground to stifle the urge to shed tears.

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