Author(s): Brian Dillon
A captivating meditation on the power of the sentence by the author of Essayism, a 2018 New Yorker book of the year.
In Suppose a Sentence, Brian Dillon, whom John Banville has called "a literary fl neur in the tradition of Baudelaire and Walter Benjamin," has written a sequel of sorts to Essayism, his roaming love letter to literature. In this new book Dillon turns his attention to the oblique and complex pleasures of the sentence. A series of essays prompted by a single sentence--from Shakespeare to Janet Malcolm, John Ruskin to Joan Didion--the book explores style, voice, and language, along with the subjectivity of reading. Both an exercise in practical criticism and a set of experiments or challenges, Suppose a Sentence is a polemical and personal reflection on the art of the sentence in literature. Whether the sentence in question is a rigorous expression of a state of vulnerability, extremity, even madness, or a carefully calibrated arrangement, Dillon examines not only how it works and why but also, in the course of the book, what the sentence once was, what it is today, and what it might become tomorrow.