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, by Matthew Kirkpatrick: A Sentence About a Sentence I Love

He was the only person caught in the collapse, and afterward, most of his work was recovered too, and it is still spoken of, when it is noted, with high regard, though seldom played.
— William Gaddis, the last line of The Recognitions
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Matthew Kirkpatrick’s “Light Without”

Matthew Kirkpatrick has an inventively constructed story (“Light Without”) with some refractive and still oddly lyrical syntax at Web Conjunctions. Some choice bits:

She feels best in dim light listening to her parents’ footsteps in the kitchen above invisibly tapping their toes to different silent beats. Her parents are always moving away from one another, only circling into proximity by mistake. She imagines each footfall marks a point on a map hidden between the floor upstairs and the ceiling above her. One day she will climb a ladder and remove each tile from the dropped ceiling to reveal the concealed map of some undiscovered place, routes formed from the pattern of her parents’ movement.

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