The Sentence is Almost as Lonely as Ghost Island

(cross-posted from ‘butttub’)

‘The Sentence is a Lonely Place’

This excited me very much when I saw it. The new issue of the Believer printed a lecture by Gary Lutz on a topic he is probably better suited to discuss than any other contemporary writer: the sentence.

As expected, it’s at times technical, but great. Lutz focuses on the material qualities of the sentence, the shape and sound of words as they abut. The lecture was delivered to creative writing graduate students, so it is at times very much directed to the mechanics of sentence construction and in those passages is perhaps less interesting to a general audience.

Still, as a lesson in the craft of writing and in how to read, this is a wonderful text. It is deservedly getting noticed and linked to by pretty much half of the blogs and websites I read.


This essay is also an occasion to remember a few writers that are doing particularly interesting work. Lutz, obviously, is one. Then there are the various people he cites- Ben Marcus, Diane Williams, Sam Lipsyte, Christine Schutt… I just read my first Diane Williams book recently and now I want to buy all of her books and read them straight through.


I know that there is a lecture series delivered by Werner Hamacher on ‘the theology of the sentence.’ If you have a recording of it, please send it. Seriously, please.


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