June 22, 2011

The Sentence

 My son gave me Stanley Fish's How To Write A Sentence for my birthday. Fish defines a sentence as "a structure of logical relationships." He goes further to state: "Content, the communication in a thrilling and effective way of ideas and passion, is finally what sentences are for."

These theories snapped into focus when I came upon these two sentences in Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness:
Droll thing life is—that mysterious arrangement of logic for a futile purpose. The most you can hope from it is some knowledge of yourself—that comes too late—a crop of unextinguishable regrets.
Form and content. Logical relationships. Yes, they are vital. But when matched by a willingness to expose one's own heart of darkness, a sentence vibrates like a tuning fork deep in our hidden self.

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