Monday, May 29, 2006


la·con·ic adj. Using or marked by the use of few words; terse or concise.

"Crake had a thing about him even then, thinks Snowman. Not that he was popular, exactly, but people felt flattered by his regard. Not just the kids, the teachers too. He'd look at them as if he was listening, as if what they were talking about was worth of his full attention, though he would never say so exactly. He generated awe -- not an overwhelming amount of it, but enough. He exuded potential, but potential for what? Nobody knew, and so people were wary of him. All of this in his dark laconic clothing."
from p. 75 of "Oryx and Crake" by Margaret Atwood.

i get annoyed at stories in books where there are a pair of characters, and one of them is clearly the alpha-figure, the cooler one, the leader, the strong silent one. the other one is just a little clumsier, a little chubbier, and when the leader says, "let's do this", it goes without saying they will. i guess i just have always felt like i was the one who was fatter, more clueless, not really knowing what the socially acceptable thing was to do. so i'd follow my cooler, more confident sidekick along, but slightly resentful, wishing i could be the cool one for once.

i'm prepared to like this book, however. debbie, have you read this one?


Wordsmyth said...

There is a great deal of power in listening to people. When you validate someone's worth by listening to them, they are much more likely to trust you, to "follow" you. Listening while offering your undivided attention is so rare these days that those who practice it are thought to be extraordinary. It literally inspires awe in people.

Wikkid Person said...

When I took my rowdy grade 10s on a history field trip, we shared the bus with some mature grade 12s. The difference between the two was that the 10s were in hysterics over two guys who were snorting sugar, while I carried on a Margaret Atwood vs. Margaret Lawrence discussion with a grade 12 student who was reading Oryx and Kraike (sp?)