Monday, December 6, 2010

I, Robot rhetorical device

I came across a clever bit of writing that particularly tickled my fancy while reading Isaac Asimov's I, Robot. Its self-aware authorial voice was reminiscent of David Foster Wallace. (Or perhaps, given their respective places on the timeline, it was prescient of David Foster Wallace.) On page 148 of the 192-page-long edition I read:
Francis Quinn was a politician of the new school. That, of course, is a meaningless expression, as are all expressions of the sort. Most of the "new schools" we have were duplicated in the social life of ancient Greece, and perhaps, if we knew more about it, in the social life of ancient Sumeria and in the lake dwellings of prehistoric Scotland as well.

But, to get out from under what promises to be a dull and complicated beginning, it might be best to state hastily that Quinn...
What an excellent device! I would like to be proud enough of my writing to refuse to remove the dull bits, and instead simply acknowledge them as dull and move along.

This post's theme word is nihilarian, "one who does useless work."
This post written like H. P. Lovecraft. Although if I include the extended quote, it's Isaac Asimov.

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