Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Favorite sentences

I have to pass on a few of the favorite sentences collected by book critic Dwight Garner from his 2019 list of books - you can get the citations from the article.
“Watch for the glamorous sentence that appears from nowhere — it might have plans for you.”
“If you don’t know the exact moment when the lights will go out, you might as well read until they do.”
“The one good thing about national anthems is that we’re already on our feet, and therefore ready to run.”
“How’re you doing,” a character asked in Ali Smith’s novel “Spring,” “apart from the end of liberal capitalist democracy?”
“Take a simpleton and give him power and confront him with intelligence — and you have a tyrant.”
In Robert Menasse’s sophisticated novel “The Capital,” set in Brussels, a character watched old nationalist ghosts rise in a tabloid culture, and commented: “He had been prepared for everything, but not everything in caricature.”...also from this novel...“Back in 1914, his grandfather had said, Brussels was the richest and most beautiful city in the world — then they came three times, twice in their boots with rifles, the third time in their trainers with cameras.”
Or, to let it all pass by...
Nabokov told an interviewer in 1974, “I don’t even know who Mr. Watergate is.”
And, I will add a favorite sentence of my own, from Pinker’s guide to writing “Sense of Style..”
"The key to good style, far more than obeying any list of commandments, is to have a clear conception of the make-believe world in which you’re pretending to communicate."

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