Zone’s Sentence

The Chicago Tribune has a little more about Mathias Enard’s Zone, recently acquired for translation by Open Letter.

By far, the most distinctive feature of this 500-page novel is that it is composed of only one sentence. The Tribune notes that:

For a long time, Joyce’s "Ulysses" was thought to have the longest sentence. Various sources report sentences of 4,391; 11,281; and 12,931 words apiece. But none is long enough to crack the top four nowadays:

1. 150,000 words in "Zone," by Mathias Enard (published in French in 2008)

2. 40,000 words in "Gates of Paradise," by Jerzy Andrzejewski (Polish, 1960)

3. 30,000 words in "Dancing Lessons for the Advanced in Age," by Bohumil Hrabal (Czech, 1964)

4. 13,995 words in "The Rotters’ Club," by Jonathan Coe (English, 2001)

I’m happy to say that in the spring issue of The Quarterly Conversation, we’ll have in-depth coverage of this book.


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