Monster Sentences

ZoneIn this age of Lilliputian literature, whose defining feature is short sentences, it’s heartening to learn about “labyrinthine sentences,” sentences so long that they swell into entire books.

“Dancing Lessons for the Advanced in Age” (1964), by Bohumil Hrabal has a 117-page-long sentence. “The Gates of Paradise” (1960), by the Polish novelist Jerzy Andrzejewski has two sentences; one, a 158-page run-on; another, only five words long. Molly Bloom’s monologue from “Ulysses” (1922) is 36 pages wide.

Jonathan Coe’s novel, “The Rotters’ Club” (2001), has a 33-page, single-sentence section. (The BBC has reported that at 13,955 words, it’s the longest sentence ever written in English.) But it has nothing on Mathias Énard’s “Zone” (2008), whose recently published English translation, has a 517-page-long sentence.

h/t: NYT


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s