If the History of the American Sentence Were a John Ford Movie…

Back in January, Adam Haslett reviewed Stanley Fish’s guide to writing called How To Write a Sentence. The article celebrates “[t]hat ability – to graft theme into syntax – [which] makes great writing a pleasure to listen to,” and contains the following brilliant sentence:

If the history of the American sentence were a John Ford movie, its second act would conclude with the young Ernest [Hemingway] walking into a saloon, finding an etiolated Henry James slumped at the bar in a haze of indecision, and shooting him dead.

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