Ooo, I love this one too much to wait for the roundup post. All y'all who mentioned thinking the style of Carnival was a little plain [as compared to the pupuritude of Whiskey & Water, say], here's somebody who found it purple to the tits.
Man, all those years working on my prosody and rhetoric. Into the oubliette with you!
(This linked here not as an assault against the reviewer, who is totally within hir rights to find the book unbearably overwritten, but as an example of what I mean when I say you are damned in you do and damned if you don't. And because I find it entertaining. And because this is what I mean when I step up with Ricky Nelson and say, you can't please everybody.
Pick one person, and write for them. If you pick the right one, a bunch of other people will agree with their taste.)
Or to quote Shakespeare:
I am here with thee and thy goats, as the most capricious
poet, honest Ovid, was among the Goths.
(aside) O knowledge ill-inhabited, worse than Jove in a
When a man's verses cannot be understood nor a man's
good wit seconded with the forward child, understanding,
it strikes a man more dead than a great reckoning in a little
room. Truly, I would the gods had made thee poetical.
I do not know what “poetical” is. Is it honest in deed and
word? Is it a true thing?
No, truly, for the truest poetry is the most feigning, and
lovers are given to poetry, and what they swear in poetry
may be said as lovers they do feign.
Do you wish then that the gods had made me poetical?
I do, truly, for thou swear'st to me thou art honest. Now, if
thou wert a poet, I might have some hope thou didst feign.
--Shakespeare, As You Like It, III:iii