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  1. #1
    stevenlabri ô¿ô
    Guest

    141 word sentence

    http://narrativemagazine.com/issues/spring-2008/italy


    Richard Bausch, which I have no doubt is a wonderful storyteller, won the Narrative Fiction Award in Spring of 2008. The is the first sentence of his short story:

    After the long trek up the mountain through the raining trees, after the hour of half sleep, and the retching and the suddenness of the snow falling, covering them, and the shot echoing across the open field near the top, and finding the German officer with a bullet through the head; after at last coming to the opening in the treetops on the way down the other side of the mountain, and hearing the spaced shots from the village down there and realizing what it meant, that the Germans were shooting the Jews—after all that—the four of them had seen the panzers going away on the far road, and the troops in orderly retreat, and so had accomplished what they were sent to do, and they started back, climbing again to the crest, past the marks of their descending.

    141 words? Really?



  2. #2
    Debra Storky
    Guest

    Re: 141 word sentence

    Yuck.

  3. #3
    jayce
    Guest

    Re: 141 word sentence

    The emperor has no clothes.

  4. #4
    Misty Mann
    Guest

    Re: 141 word sentence

    I've studied under Richard Bausch. He was my professor for 2 years! He may be a character at times but he's an astonishing author!

  5. #5
    Dave S
    Guest

    Re: 141 word sentence

    In Cormac McCathy's BLOOD MERIDIAN, he has a 243 word sentence. I was amazed when I read it, both because it's so long, and also because it's so good. I guess the bottom line is if you're a good enough writer, you can get away with it.

  6. #6
    Busy Lizzy
    Guest

    Re: 141 word sentence

    Reading this long sentence, wondering what makes someone do that, considering that you could make it more comprehensible by making at least ten sentences out of it, shaking my head and scratching my head, puzzling about the author, asking myself how someone can get away with this type of thing, getting mental indigestion and burning eyes from trying to read it, I'm now finishing my "short story".

  7. #7
    Blair M
    Guest

    Re: 141 word sentence

    "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way--in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only."

    He managed more than Dickens did in A Tale of Two Cities.

    Very impressive.

  8. #8
    Joe Zeff
    Guest

    Re: 141 word sentence

    Charles Emerson Winchester III M.D. once wrote a three page report on a new surgical procedure. Upon examination it was revealed to consist of exactly one long, convoluted sentence. I am not impressed by this poser.

  9. #9
    stevenlabri ô¿ô
    Guest

    Re: 141 word sentence

    Richard Bausch
    B.A. from George Mason University
    M.F.A. in creative writing from the University of Iowa
    Author of ten novels and seven collections of short stories
    Take Me Back (1981), nominated for the PEN/Faulkner Award
    The Last Good Time (1984)
    Mr. Field’s Daughter (1989)
    Violence (1992)
    The Selected Stories of Richard Bausch (1996)
    In the Night Season (1998)
    Hello to the Cannibals (2003)
    Thanksgiving Night (2006)

    His short stories have appeared in numerous prize-winning anthologies, including Best American Short Stories, O. Henry, and Pushcart. He has received several awards, including a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, a Guggenheim fellowship, the Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest Writer’s Award, and the Award in Literature from the Academy of Arts and Letters. Previously Professor of English and Heritage Chair of Creative Writing at George Mason University, Richard Bausch holds the Lillian and Morrie A. Moss Chair of Excellence at The University of Memphis.

    He certainly kicks the tail of most of us here, but if any newbie submitted a story like this to most any agent, contest, publisher, etc. it would probably be discarded.

    Just sayin.

  10. #10
    Joe Zeff
    Guest

    Re: 141 word sentence

    Yes, that's certainly true. However, I know several people personally with more writing credits than that who'd never consider trying something like that because to them, it wouldn't be good writing.

    Just sayin.

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