Sin of Pride
What do these two men have in common?
in terms of talent. They share a common trade, but one used
language like a farmer toiling to raise a crop from the bare
earth, and one uses it the way a 15-year-old boy uses a condom.
And one of them is guilty of the sin of Pride. Let's have
a little side-by-side comparison, shall we?
Opening of William
Faulkner's "The Wild Palms":
sounded again, at once discreet and peremptory, while the
doctor was descending the stairs, the flashlight's beam lancing
on before him down the brown-stained tongue-and-groove box
of the lower hall. It was a beach cottage, even though of
two stories, and lighted by oil lamps - or an oil lamp, which
his wife had carried up stairs with them after supper. And
the doctor wore a night shirt, too, not pajamas, for the same
reason that he smoked the pipe which he had never learned
and knew that he would never learn to like, between the occasional
cigar which his clients gave him in the intervals of Sundays
on which he smoked three cigars which he felt he could buy
for himself even though he owned the beach cottage as well
as the one next to it and the one, the residence with electricity
and plastered walls, in the village four miles away.Because
he was now forty-eight years old and he had been sixteenand
eighteen and twenty at the time when his father could tell
him (and he believe it) that cigarettes and pajamas were for
dudes and women.
...and the opening
of John Grisham's "The Runaway
The face of
Nicholas Easter was slightly hidden by a display rack filled
with slim cordless phones, and he was looking not directly
at the hidden camera but somewhere of to the left, perhaps
at a customer, or perhaps at a counter where a group of kids
hovered over the latest electronic games from Asia. Though
taken from a distance of forty yards by a man dodging rather
heavy mall foot traffic, the photo was clear and revealed
a nice face, clean-shaven with strong features and boyish
good looks. Easter was twenty-seven, they knew that for a
fact. No eyeglasses. No nose ring or weird haircut.
If you're a famous,
fabulously-wealthy twentieth century author, it may seem there's
little you can't do. Except, perhaps, write beautifully. Perhaps
you're the writer of popular legal-thrillers and you come
from the same tiny town in Mississippi as William Faulkner.
To untalented 1990's literary blip John Grisham, it must have
seemed like the stars had ordained that he follow in the footsteps
of the Nobel Prize- winning author and godlike racconteur.
But, with the cruelty of the powerful, the gods denied him
the one thing his Pride most demands: the gift of beautiful
words. To insure that the public connects what the gods would
keep apart, John Grisham followed in the footsteps of the
master and chose to move to the rolling hills around Charlottesville,
Virginia. He can continue to pen uncarbonated "thrillers"
and spend nights in his sprawling home agonizing over his
place in literary history, but for daring to compare himself
to the untouchable, his eventual karmic comeupance is assured!