16 February 2007

Hard-packed and stony

Pleasing bit of description in Larissa MacFarquhar's Feb. 12 profile of Pat and Paul Churchland, two Canadian philosophy professors who are, at the article's open, wandering at the California seaside:
"It's a little before six in the morning and quite cold on the beach. It's low tide, and the sand is wet and hard-packed and stony."
It's almost Hemingwayesque—terse and physical—but he'd have left out the "a little before" and the "quite." I'd prefer it that way, I think, but it still holds up. "Pack" is such a great word.

(Painting: Duane Murrin's "Low Tide.")
(Alf, please skip.)


zp said...

I thought I was really going to like this piece, but then I didn't . . .

JJB said...

I'm half through, and I think I know what you mean. Ever notice how her descriptions usually come in triads, as in my post? I counted three on the first page.

JJB said...

Holy smokes, you weren't kidding. First article in a long time that I simply gave up on. It felt like a long e-mail.