“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.
5 thoughts on “A Sentence About a Sentence I Love, by Christopher Higgs”
That is quite good.
My favorite Emerson quote: “I hate quotations. Tell me what you know.”
love, love, love this sentence.
John, you’ll have to change the picture to Marcus.
The original, according to Marcus: “Every word was once a poem.” From the essay, ‘The Poet.’ All this is bandied about in the first minutes of the interview.
The quote, imagined, altered, or not, is attributed to Emerson. I’ll leave the picture.