Intellectual sinew and humour are not her primary colors….

Word count: 222 words

Reading time: Less than 1 minute

Each week I identify a sentence from my reading that has interested me. This one comes from New Yorker reviewer John Lahr.

I confess. I used to watch Sex and the City. At the time (1998-2004), I found it entertaining and diverting. The few episodes I’ve seen since in reruns seem terribly dated, however.

That said, a Feb. 6/12 review in the New Yorker about actress Cynthia Nixon (she played laywer Miranda Hobbes) grabbed my interest. Even better, the review was of a play called Wit, by Margaret Edson, which I had just finished reading. And writer, John Lahr, gave me my sentence of the week:

(Cynthia) Nixon can paint likeable stage pictures with an effective emotional palette, but intellectual sinew and humour are not among her primary colors. 

Isn’t it interesting how he takes the mundane image — one might almost call it a cliche — of theatre actors “painting pictures” on stage, and enriches it by embellishment: palette, primary colors. Furthermore, he emphasizes his point of view by using the deliberately weak adjective “likeable” and juxtaposing it with the much more powerful words “intellectual sinew.”

I love this kind of writing!

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