I find nothing more conducive to the blunting of one’s appetite than to have none but elderly persons sitting around one at table, fouling their napkins with the disintegration of their make-up, and surreptitiously trying, behind noncommittal smiles, to dislodge the red hot torture point of a raspberry seed from between false gum and dead gum. ( Nabokov, Pale Fire)
Imitation #3 Tried to make a similar sentence by staying true to the story being told and to where the commas are placed. This is pretty fun, but I’m finding it hard to think about how to instruct my students to do the same.
I think there’s nothing more encouraging to the loss of one’s appetite than to be surrounded by over-ripened humanity at dinner, staining their tablecloths with the cake of cheap lipstick, and trying unsuccessfully, behind off-hand smiles, to remove the mouth-deadening sensation of a raspberry seed stuck between dead gum and fake teeth.