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.

More from Conversational Reading:

  1. The One Sentence Challenge Interesting. Physicist Richard Feynman once said that if all knowledge about physics was about to expire the one sentence he would tell the future is...
  2. French Novel of the Decade Christophe Claro says Zone by Mathias √Čnard is going to be huge. Claro, of course, does know a little about postmodern writing. Here’s some more...
  3. Mathias Enard’s Zone Acquired by Open Letter I’ve just learned that the experimental French novel Zone will be published in English by Chad Post’s Open Letter press, with the translation done by...
  4. Chicago Tribune Cuts Book Section The Literary Saloon notes that the Chicago Tribune is gleefully slashing its book section. The Chicago Reader reports on what the Chicago Tribune is doing...
  5. Winter Rain Taxi The online edition of the Winter Rain Taxi is online. It features my review of Jonathan Coe’s excellent Like A Fiery Elephant....

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