Kakutani, Limn Addict

There’s a piece today in Salon about Michiko Kakutani taking up her favorite verb “limn” again. Thrilling stuff, I know, but it recalled to me this list compiled in Harper’s eight years ago by Christian Lorentzen of Kakutani’s use of “limn” (the Harper’s bit is not mentioned in the Salon article) —

Limn an entire life in a couple of pages

Limn the trajectory of an entire life in a handful of pages

Limn the suffocating atmosphere of small-town life and the alienation experienced by those who defy its provincial mores

Limn the last days of an alcoholic frontierswoman living in a small western town

Limn a man’s sudden apprehension of vulnerability and loss–all brought on by his discovery of a dead rat on his kitchen floor

Limn his inner life or probe the sources of his equipoise

Limn the inner life of people, surprised by the deceptions of time

Limn, with tenderness, wisdom, and humor, a vast array of human relationships, both straight and gay

Limn the rituals of hunting, trapping, planting, and canning with a wry mixture of amusement and respect

Limn the daily minutiae of life

Limn the human condition

Limn the complicated emotional geometry

Limn the delicate geometry of emotions

Limn a marriage of enduring passion and shared ideals

Limn Willy’s fears of losing Biff’s love and his own longings for immortality

Limn the brutal, perilous, and harrowing art of killing a forty-ton creature with a hand-thrown weapon

Limn some of its burgeoning manifestations

Limn the social and geopolitical fallout

Limn the surrealness of contemporary life

Limn the rhythms of the universe and an artist’s inner state of mind

Limn a future in which Pop Art gives way to Poll Art

Limn the nervous, almost flirtatious banter

Limn a hero’s efforts to achieve self-understanding

Limn girls’ secret struggle for womanhood in the post-sexual-revolution world

Limn the dangers posed by emerging diseases

Limn the spiritual yearnings and dislocations of an entire nation as it lurched from the certainties of the World War II years toward the confusions of the 1970s

Limn the irrationalities of history

Limn the impermanence–and emotional chaos–that threatens to overwhelm ordinary people

Limn the fabulous

Limn the ordinary with seeming nonchalance

Limn this deeply felt, if somewhat limited, theme with clarity and moral vigor

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