Lose life and one would lose nothing again forever.
–Graham Greene, from The Quiet American
Poets think in lines, prose writers in sentences; the best of both work from sound to sense, with an ear for the music in their compositions. S for Sentence celebrates lyricism in prose, the play and craft at work in the artful sentence. We post a sentence a month along with comments by a guest writer on the craft that shapes it, on what makes it great. In one or two sentences.
—Pearl Abraham, Editor
—Stephanie Grant, Guest Editor
This sentence swings like a pendulum, hinged between death and the freedom from loss. The sentence is written with simple authority of aphorism, as if it were good-natured fatherly advice for any "one" –– as if "one" were given a choice. Fowler the narrator slips the sentence in between ruminations on war, friendship, and a woman he loves. He slips it in because he is not to be trusted. He speaks of death as if he craves it as a solution for his longing for permanence, when later events belie this, revealing this aphoristic thought, seemingly simple and clear, to be mere words. This one sentence deftly leads us through the workings of an aging man's inner monologue, a man facing a life of deceit, self-delusion, and vulnerability.
– Xuan Juliana Wang's most recent story appeared in The Pushcart Prize: Best of the Small Presses 2015 Edition