Creative Nonfiction

The High-Wire Act

JOE MORAN is a professor of English and Cultural History at Liverpool John Moores University.

From First You Write a Sentence by Joe Moran, to be published on August 13, 2019 by Penguin Books, an imprint of Penguin Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House, LLC. Copyright © 2019 by Joe Moran.

just need to be long. The world resists our efforts to enclose it between a capital and a full stop. Why, Malcolm Bowie asks, does Proust write such long, vermiform sentences, always subdividing then reassembling, loath to come to rest? Because, he says, they mimic the workings of desire and the neurotic rereading of situations we make when we are in love. Their denial and shaky restoration of meaning is “Eros become visible.” Such sentences are like “all speculation, all

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