Saturday, November 26, 2011

Infinite sentences

Living in a country occupied by the Russian army, deprived of my passport and so without any possibility of leaving, I found it very difficult to defend myself. I succeeded, nevertheless, in publishing a letter of protest in the Times Literary Supplement and even in bringing about the publication in Britain of a revised, complete version, that is, without deletions and with the chapters in their original sequence (Penguin Books, 1970). My satisfaction with this turned out to be only relative: a glance through the book showed me that the translation was still very free; for example, an obviously important matter of punctuation: Helena's monologue, composing all of Part Two, in which each paragraph is one long "infinite" sentence in my original, had been broken up into many very short sentences. I decided to close the book and know no more of it.
--Milan Kundera, "Author's Note," The Joke (Definite Version), 1992

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Blogger Richard P said...

What is a long infinite sentence? Is it longer than a short infinite sentence? What would Cantor say?

12:09 AM  

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