How to Write a Sentence: And How to Read One by Stanley Fish

Filed under:Technical,Uncategorized — posted by Randolph on July 18, 2011 @ 7:41 pm

How to Write a Sentence: And How to Read One  by Stanley Fish

Stanley Fish presents the readers with a variety of sentences and an analysis of their content. In each case, he discusses word choice, meanings conveyed, flow, and probably some stuff I’ve forgotten. His intent is to enable the reader to understand the value in the sentences, recognize different structural forms, and, if not to write better sentences, then to appreciate a well-written sentence.

The book has three sections. The first presents key sentences, and he analyzes their form. Then provides new sentences using the same to show their presentation forms and what they convey.

The second portion discusses first and last sentences. It discusses how first sentences set the stage for the rest of the story, and how last sentences create (sometimes) closure.

The last section lost me a bit. Supposedly it discusses self-referential sentences, but maybe I didn’t quite get it.

Stanley makes very good use of examples from famous pieces of literature. It is an easy read with good information.

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image: detail of installation by Bronwyn Lace