Imitation #3

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.

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Imitation #2

Gradually she learned to use her eyes and apply new knowledge, till she could stand in an empty suburban street and realize that far beneath her shoes was a crater filled with rubble never to be seen, that never had been seen, because there were no eyes to see at its creating or throughout the long history of its being made and filled and hidden and lost. (Munro, Too Much Happiness)

Imitation #2 In this exercise, I tried to copy the rhythm of the words as much as I could, while using my own idea for the sentence.

Remi strove with all her might to be nothing more than ordinary, till she could stand in a room with a mere five people within and never be entirely real, never be entirely there, because there were no eyes nor ears to pierce the utter humdrum that surrounded her whole being till her presence was naught but felt and seen and heard and forgotten.