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The Bliss of Correct Punctuation

Updated on August 18, 2011
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Barbara Anne Helberg is a Fiction freelancer, Internet writer, WordPress blogger, former Journalist, and a Famous Writers School graduate.

Ah, for the bliss of days of literature gone by when the grammatical punctuation in a sentence meant everything to the reader's enjoyment and the author's ego, as this from James Fenimore Cooper's "The Prairie", (considered Cooper's greatest single literary work) -- "The harvest of the first year of our possession had long been passed, and the fading foliage of a few scattered trees was already beginning to exhibit the hues and tints of autumn, when a train of wagons issued from the bed of a dry rivulet, to pursue its course across the undulating surface of what, in the language of the country of which we write, is called a 'rolling prairie'" -- which is a past glory of and the epitome of astute wordsmanship from Cooper, who valued such attributes as a writer, as should all authors of today, be they letter writers, story tellers with ink and pen, or long-winded novelists, all of whom seek the attention and approval of the voracious reader who will continue to purchase the writer's fine works for the very adventure, lifestyle, and correct literary learnedness the works depict on a regular basis, not because the reader is a critic himself but because he is a creature of curiosity mostly seeking a vicarious experience that can remedy his lowly and boring existence with high adventure, for that is the uplifting result that returns a hundredfold to the writer always writing more for the reader than himself, which is the true meaning of the word author for the author of merit, he not seeking glory for his written brilliance as much as he seeks approval for the work itself, which erupts, afterall, from the very bottom of his being, even if that soul himself is a poor facsimile for the living of the life he paints in lovely written portrait; in all certainly, he lives to write, therefore, he, too, is one seeking life vicariously and is no different than his reader other than he is capable of putting life onto the page, but only that he may become a reader himself, rereading and reworking his own pages until they live before him like the high priests of his existence, which present to the reader a life presented and a life (the writer's) unsuspected, for the reader routinely thinks of the writer as an utmost liver of life, an adventurer in the face of challenge, a doer as well as a thinker, and one who can easily enrapture an audience that loses itself in the hidden fantasy that is writing itself, a talent supposedly possessed by the few and read and coddled by the masses who yearn for more than their own mundane lives, an emotion universal by tally and by the writer seen as a catalyst to reengage himself with the next tale to continue to promote the public catharsis and to empty and purge himself of the words that excite and propel him to the limit of exhaustion that fuels the fire of the satisfaction of the written word, and yet exhorts him to begin again when the body has been rested and fed, for his tales are ever present and must be told for an audience hungry for more, more than the everyday, more than the hassled commute to and from work, more than the plastic-like basic work of keeping a family together and the dog happy, for these are the staples of life, but the written word -- the book into which the reader escapes -- that itself becomes a dream of life and life, (although a fictional life read it may be), becoming the essence of existence in a narrow timeframe, not all taking, but mostly new life and renewing old life until new and old and present existence are wrapped into a fine harmony that allows the reader to return to reality with a gift of life from the writer: ah, those were the literary days of true correct punctuation that took the breath away!


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