English 190

Research Seminar: Creative Sentences


Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
1 Fall 2019 Hejinian, Lyn
Falci, Eric
MW 9-10:30 305 Wheeler

Book List

Burns Florey, Kitty: Sister Bernadette's Barking Dog: The Quirky History and Lost Art of Diagramming Sentences

Other Readings and Media

Course Reader

Description

Samuel Taylor Coleridge once praised a sentence of his own, noting that it was 241 words long and that the main verb didn’t appear until the 216th word. Is that wait for a verb too long? Gertrude Stein wrote this sentence: “Very little daisies and very little bluettes and an artificial bird and a very whited anemone which is allowed and then after it is very well placed by an unexpected invitation to carry a basket by an unexpected invitation to carry a basket back and forth back and forth and a river there is this difference between a river here and a river there.” Can anyone make sense of such a sentence? Do sentences express sense or create it? And what about us—what are we doing when we create sentences, and what are sentences doing as they are created?  In this seminar, we will read a lot of sentences, one by one—from novels, poems, plays, essays, and letters. We’ll read essays about sentences, old and new. We will also create sentences. And we will create with sentences—though what we’ll end up with remains to be, well, created. Only one required book will be assigned. The rest of the materials will be provided in a course reader and/or on bCourses.

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