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Saturday, April 7 • 12:45pm - 2:15pm
6C: Consider the Sentence: A Love Story
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As writers we are accustomed to making sentences, trying to forge a language shapely enough to express that which is often resistant to both shapeliness and expression, if not language itself. Generally it turns out to be harder than it looks. No doubt much of what we know about the sentence we don’t even quite realize we know: like ex-lovers, we tend to be made more aware of its qualities by their absence than their presence.

So it's bracing to consider exactly what a sentence does, and what it requires of us, and what is the difference between a good one and a bad one and a great one, and how cosmically unfair it is that even on those world historic occasions when we somehow manage to come up with a really good sentence, we’re not allowed to repeat it. We're not allowed to repeat it. And still we have to go on making more. So there may be some benefit to looking at the process and the product of all this sentence-making together, and seeing what useful conclusions we might draw from that. Who knows, we may even write some of our own.

avatar for Robert Cohen

Robert Cohen

Robert Cohen's books include the novels Amateur Barbarians, Inspired Sleep, The Here and Now, and The Organ Builder, as well as a collection of stories, The Varieties of Romantic Experience, and a recent anthology, The Writer's Reader. His awards include a Whiting Writers Award... Read More →

Saturday April 7, 2018 12:45pm - 2:15pm EDT
Charles River Room - 4th Floor