“Every word was once an animal.”
—Ralph Waldo Emerson
Because it serves as epigraph to one of the greatest—if not THE greatest—assemblages of sentences bound in book form published by an American author in the twentieth century, Ben Marcus’s The Age of Wire & String, and because it challenges the liberal humanist separation of mind/body as well as the liberal humanist separation between man/animal, and because Emerson should be touted ceaselessly for inaugurating American experimental literature by refocusing our attention on the self rather than the community as well as championing the new for the sake of the new, and because this sentence trips up the debate between those who claim all is language and those who claim all is material, and because this sentence, so far as my research indicates, was never actually written by Emerson, which, to me, makes it doubly or triply more interesting.
Christopher Higgs is the author of As I Stand Living and The Complete Works of Marvin K. Mooney. In addition to publishing two chapbooks, Colorless Green Ideas Sleep Furiously and Becoming Monster, he’s written for numerous print and online venues, including Agni, Denver Quarterly, and The Paris Review Daily.