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A Sentence About a Sentence I Love: From Gertrude Stein’s Tender Buttons

“Out of kindness comes redness and out of rudeness comes rapid same question, out of an eye comes research, out of selection comes painful cattle.”
—Gertrude Stein, Tender Buttons
 
With such a Steinian [[ sentence ]], it’s the magnificent paragrammar that does it for me, the metalogic, the gift of surprise upon surprise, the increase of life that arrives by means of the catawampus nouns pitching each phrase into suggestive indirectness, the sonic panoply that swamps sense, the astonishing investigation into the phenomenology of this exquisite problem of ours called reading.

Lance Olsen is the author of many novels, including My Red Heaven, Dreamlives of Debris, Theories of Forgetting, Calendar of Regrets, and Head in Flames; five nonfiction books, five short-story collections, a poetry chapbook, and two anti-textbooks about experimental writing, including Architectures of Possibility: After Innovative Writing; as well as editor of two collections of essays about innovative contemporary fiction. Recipient of numerous awards, he teaches experimental narrative theory and practice at the University of Utah.

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