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The parsimony of information

“You can spend paragraphs describing an old mill under the cloud-streaked moon, Chekhov writes somewhere, how the water rushes over the wheel, how heavy and dank its stones are, and nobody will actually see it; merely mention, however, how the moonlight catches on a bit of broken glass lying on a mossy flag atop the millrace … and the whole structure rises, vivid and visible, before the moon-slashed night mists of the reader’s mind!” — Samuel R. Delany (from interview by K. Leslie Steiner in The Review of Contemporary Fiction, Fall 1996, Vol. 16.3; ellipsis in original)

Published inEconomicsLit & CritSamuel R. Delany

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