Meditation over a sentence

Here’s a beautiful and intriguing literary game to play from the always thoughtful Letizia. It will make you consider not just individual sentences but how carefully they are placed in you favourite novels. Get your books out!

reading interrupted.

“….how to read well: i.e. slowly, profoundly, attentively, prudently, with inner thoughts, with the mental doors ajar, with delicate fingers and eyes.”  Friedrich Nietzsche

“I take no sides. I am interested in the shape of ideas. There is a wonderful sentence in Augustine ‘Do not despair; one of the thieves was saved. Do not presume; one of the thieves was damned.’ That sentence has a wonderful shape. It’s the shape that matters.” Samuel Beckett

“Sentences are made wonderfully one at a time.” Gertrude Stein

Get one of your favorite novels.  Go on.  I’ll wait.

Now, flip to the last chapter.

And read the first sentence of that chapter.

Have you ever really paid much attention to that sentence? We don’t hold it in as much esteem as the first sentence of the book (the one that must, apparently, draw the reader in; what pressure). Or as the last sentence of the novel…

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About rossmurray1

I'm Canadian so I pronounce it "Aboot." No, I don't! I don't know any Canadian who says "aboot." Damnable lies! But I do know this Canadian is all about humour (with a U) and satire. Come by. I don't bite, or as we Canadians say, "beet."
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11 Responses to Meditation over a sentence

  1. Paul says:

    Neat idea Ross. I shall look at that sentence in the next book I read.

  2. Ned's Blog says:

    Great exercise and a way to approach things from a fresh perspective. On the other hand, I’m going to feel just as much pressure writing that sentence as I do the first sentence of every post, column or next novel. Thanks.

  3. Carrie Rubin says:

    It was a great post, and I was thrilled to learn you’ve read “A Fine Balance,” too. Such a wonderful book.

  4. ksbeth says:

    ‘Time can play all sorts of tricks on you.’ -from “Hugo”

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