purple patch

“purple patch”

alternate terms: purple prose, purple writing

“A piece of notably fine writing. Now and then authors in a strongly emotional passage will give free play to most of the stylistic tricks in their bag. They will write prose intensely colorful and more than usually rhythmic. When there is an unusual piling up of these devices in such a way as to suggest a self-conscious literary effort, the section is spoken of as a purple patch—a colorful passage standing out from the writing around it…Although sometimes used in a nonevaluative, descriptive sense, the term is more often employed derogatorily” (Source: Harmon & Holman,  421).

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