Tuesday, December 28, 2010

More long sentences

(Continued from; original piece is here.)

6) A reader in Berlin wrote to me about a new (?) 130-page novel by Vanessa Place called Dies: A Sentence: "It's the ruminations of a dude a moment before his legs get blown off in the trenches of WWI." (This is doubly interesting because all of the examples of one-sentence-or-thereabouts novels I found were written by men—though within this micro-tradition, the form scans "feminine," if we think of Joyce giving the end of Ulysses to Molly Bloom.)

7) Adam Seelig has a 10,000-word novella entitled Every Day in the Morning (Slow), which he says is also "a continuous 'drop poem.'"


Laird Hunt was gracious enough to answer a few questions about his Ray of the Star, which was inspired by Dürrenmatt's sentence-per-chapter format. (His responses were great, but in the end I couldn't fit them in.)


It had crossed my mind that I might attempt writing the article as a single unbroken sentence—form follows function and all that—but then realized I'd done a similar thing, years ago, for the PTSNBNLS—"The Precognitions," a one-paragraph article on the works of William Gaddis and W.G. Sebald (with some Thomas Bernhard thrown in).


I was happy to unload that Faulkner quote (
“I’m trying to say it all in one sentence, between one Cap and one period...I’m still trying to put it all, if possible, on one pinhead"), which has been sitting in my commonplace book since 1995!


Is it time to revisit the greatness of Faulkner? The weirdness of him? I think so.

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Blogger Jenny Davidson said...

WAIT! might be your next book should be an "Out of Sheer Rage" style excursus on Faulkner?!? 140pp, written during the semester under some liberating formal constraint (quota! alphabetical organization, once rereading has happened?) and in June for recovery, sent off before next novel-writing effort really begins!!!

10:33 PM  
Blogger John Madera said...

Hi, Ed.

As a lover of the long sentence's convoluted whirl and sprawl, I enjoyed your article in the NY Times exploring the form.

Nice to see Vanessa Place and Thomas Bernhard getting nods here.

Do you know Augustino and the Choir of Destruction, by Marie-Claire Blais? It has very few full-stops in its over 200 pages. Worth checking out.

Well, take care,


3:23 PM  

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