Why is it great? Tom Stoppard is one of our greatest wordsmiths, wildly intelligent and witty, while still revealing the pathos of his characters. This line is a perfect example of his genius. It uses a metaphor, a bit of wordplay, to capture something deep about human existence. And the rhythm of the language as the sentence reaches its end is breathtakingly beautiful: “a memory of the smell of smoke, and the presumption that once our eyes watered.”

Most popular articles from Nieman Storyboard

Show comments / Leave a comment