Sunday, December 31, 2006

Purple Prose Reviews

As much as I enjoy reading reviews and critiques, I often myself struggling against the riptide of purple prose that a lot of write-ups about food, wine, perfume, music and art tend to be. Like many, I have wondered how these writers crank out their crap. It was amusing to see some of the stuff that the tool generated.

Molly O'Neill writes about genesis of
food porn - "prose and recipes so removed from real life that they cannot be used except as vicarious experience". I can't agree more with the "vicarious experience" part. Reading about what makes a perfume so exceptional is often all I need - I'll gladly skip the part where I actually try (or worse buy) one for myself. It's easier to read about the next thing extolled in equally lush prose - it gets cloying and suffocating fairly quickly even without having smelt the real thing.

Likewise, who wants to taste wine that is described like it solely
aims to insult your unsophisticated palate ? You wonder why it should be so hard to use ordinary language everyone understands to describe things that regular, every day folk will want to buy instead of using lurid prose that puts them off.

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