Indescribable

A couple years ago, I had an epiphany while reading Gene Wolfe’s The Book of the New Sun, when the narrator Severian pointed out that

It is always a temptation to say that such feelings are indescribable, though they seldom are.

Today, though… Today I was finishing Wolfe’s superb 1988 novel There Are Doors, and I happened upon this on page 294:

"An indescribable sound filled the arena"

Which is it, Mr. Wolfe? Which is it?


I must admit, though, it’s nice that, immediately after he calls the sound indescribable, he proceeds to describe it with delightful economy. Wolfe may be fond of unreliable narrators, but his prose is reliably amazing.

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