A Sentence About a Sentence I Love: An Anthology, of Sorts

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).

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Guest Post, Ben Spivey: A Sentence About a Sentence I Love

And when the pains finally grew sharp I thought that death should come like that—like childbirth, into the birth of silence and no light—and I stood up one last time and pushed the curtains apart to have a glimpse across the gardens, my fence, to the waves upon waves of velvet green beyond.
–From Stanley Crawford’s Log Of The S.S. The Mrs Unguentine
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Flowing in the Gossamer Fold by Ben Spivey

Ben Spivey’s debut novel, Flowing in the Gossamer Fold, is available for pre-order from Blue Square Press.

People have nice things to say about the novel!

“Reading like the troubled offspring of Claire Denis’s L’Intrus and the surreal ending of Jim Thompson’s Savage Night, Spivey’s Flowing in the Gossamer Fold creates a deliberate and satisfying confusion between the habitations of the skull, of the word, and of the world. A strange and satisfying debut.”
-Brian Evenson

“Malcolm Blackburn (motivational speaker, estranged husband of a bird with orange pubic hair, and lover to a mannequin) has a voice that throttled me from the first page, while Ben Spivey–an extraordinarily talented and shockingly young new writer–demonstrates that his own voice is versatile, vivid, funny, and trenchant. I read the book in one eager sitting. Flowing in the Gossamer Fold is a bizarre and genuinely exciting debut.”

-Nick Antosca

Go, buy, now.