xeni at April 25th, 2014 14:48 — #1
the_borderer at April 25th, 2014 14:52 — #2
These are the 'best sentences' in all English language literature - James Joyce, Jane Austen and Charles Dickens weren't American.
marktech at April 25th, 2014 15:00 — #3
Nabokov would be stretching the definition, though he spent much of his creative life in America; Jane Austen famously mentioned baseball, so maybe she's sort of an honorary American.
marjoram at April 25th, 2014 15:00 — #4
“The ships hung in the sky in much the same way that bricks don't.”
― Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
newliminted at April 25th, 2014 15:11 — #5
It was a dark and stormy night...
crenquis at April 25th, 2014 15:15 — #6
Like sands through the hourglass, so are the days of our lives.
jardine at April 25th, 2014 15:27 — #7
"I like big butts and I can not lie" - Sir Mix-A-Lot
markdow at April 25th, 2014 15:27 — #8
“All right then, I'll go to hell” Huck Finn
keithlm at April 25th, 2014 15:30 — #9
A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away....
milliefink at April 25th, 2014 15:32 — #10
"Best" in all literature written in English, actually.
teknocholer at April 25th, 2014 15:51 — #11
Good night, noises everywhere.
chuckmonkey2010 at April 25th, 2014 15:53 — #12
Not sure if literature:
"The sea was angry that day, like an old man trying to return soup, in a deli."
-- George Costanza, Seinfeld
glitch at April 25th, 2014 15:56 — #13
A fabulous line. I was always a fan of the exchange about hyperspace jumps.
"It's rather unpleasantly like being drunk."
"What's so unpleasant about being drunk?"
"You ask a glass of water."
euansmith at April 25th, 2014 16:19 — #14
Darn, you beat me to it
othermichael at April 25th, 2014 16:21 — #15
What?!?!?! But they spoke and wrote in English!
And on that note, why is the accompanying photograph of a non-English (Czech?) typewriter?
gfish at April 25th, 2014 17:02 — #16
This would actually get my vote. What a wonderful surprise it was when I finally read this as an adult, without the heavy expectations of a literature class hanging over my head, to find such a brave and unapologetic moral voice in that book.
thaumatechnicia at April 25th, 2014 18:22 — #17
The 'Best Sentence' in litterature, IMHO, is: "Mr. Thaumatechnician, I'm calling from the Atlantic Lottery Corporation, and I can confirm that you won the 6/49 jackpot and there are no other winners."
/Or any other Canadian lottery - 'cuz there's no income tax on their winnings, natch.
//Actually, I would have taken a different line or three from Joyce's Portrait of the Artist. I listened to a very good reading of it a few weeks ago and my breath was taken away so many times, but not by the line that was quoted in the linked-to article.
///Personally, and since The American Scholar seems to think that people who have never been in America qualify as Americans, there are a few lines written by Al Purdy that outshone the sentences in the article. For instance:...
Oh, I'm off to read some Purdy. I may update this post later, if I can pick one line. In the meanwhile, check out "In the Early Cretaceous".
marktech at April 25th, 2014 19:08 — #18
“All right then, I'll go to hell” - James Joyce, Portrait Of The Artist As A Young Man.
crenquis at April 25th, 2014 19:22 — #19
I don't know why this line popped into my head when I read the Adams line...
We went into their heads and smoothed out their meat so that we're just a dream to them.
-- Terry Bisson (THEY'RE MADE OUT OF MEAT)
leicester at April 25th, 2014 19:28 — #20
“The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel.”
― William Gibson, Neuromancer
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