A few months ago, in April, to be exact, I started a series of posts entitled “A Sentence About a Sentence I Love” with a sentence about one of Gerard Manley Hopkins’s magnificent sentences. This concentration, or, rather, this obsession with the sentence may have come from my, at the time, recent readings of William Gass’s essays wherein he concentrates much of his attention on the sentence as a primary building block in poetry and prose. Essays by Gass like “The Soul Inside the Sentence,” “The Sentence Seeks Its Form,” “The Architecture of the Sentence,” take as their focus the centrality of the sentence toward the construction of thought, and particularly of thoughts within the parameters of fiction. In “Philosophy and the Form of Fiction,” Gass claims that sentences are “the most elementary instances of what the author has constructed….a moving unity of fact and feeling.” Moreover, sentences
must be sounded, too; it has a rhythm, speed, a tone, a flow, a pattern, shape, length, pitch, conceptual direction. The sentence confers reality upon certain relations, but it also controls our estimation, apprehension, and response to them. Every sentence, in short, takes metaphysical dictation, and it is the sum of these dictations, involving the whole range of the work in which the sentences appear, which accounts for its philosophical quality, and the form of life in the thing that has been made (Fiction and the Figures of Life, 14).
Good things are happening at Mud Luscious Press, the brainchild of Big Other’s J.A. Tyler:
“John’s red sow won’t go / out of labor so we stay all night / and John brings coffee and smokes / and flashlight batteries and finally Jan / can feel another pig but John’s red sow’s / swole up tight and she can’t grab hold / but only touch so I push her side / and she grunts and screams and shits all over Jan’s arm / and Jan sez I got it help me and I help / and we pull for a goddam hour and pull / the pig’s head off // and I sez oh my god we gotta get that pig now / or that fucker’s gonna die for sure / and John sez what happened? and Jan / gives him a baby pig’s head in his hand / and John goes somewheres else again / while Jan goes back fast inside / grabbing hard and John’s red sow / hurts bad and Jan sez I got something help me / and I help and we start taking that pig out / piece by piece[.]”
–From David Lee’s The Porcine Canticles
Best reads: Blake Butler’s Scorch Atlas & Featherproof’s Scrotal Cash
Best films: Park Chan-wook’s Thirst & Nicolas Winding Refn’s Bronson