The Quote File: Sentences

"I'm probably more interested in sentences than anything else in life." -- Tom Robbins

"My sentences are all I have. My life has always been an engagement with words. I do not have very much of a physical life. I write, I edit, I teach. And in all of these activities the focus of my attention is sentences. Sentences are continuous with my inmost being." -- Gordon Lish

"The sentence is my primary element, my tool, goal, bliss. Each new sentence is a heart-in-the mouth experiment." -- Cynthia Ozick

"My whole theory of writing I can sum up in one sentence: An author ought to write for the youth of his own generation, the critics of the next, and the schoolmasters of ever afterward." -- F. Scott Fitzgerald

"You must convince yourself that you are working in clay and not marble, on paper and not eternal bronze; let that first sentence be as stupid as it wishes. No one will rush out and print it as it stands. Just put it down; then another." -- Jacques Barzun

"All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence you know." -- Ernest Hemingway

"To get the right word in the right place is a rare achievement. To condense the diffused light of a page of thought into the luminous flash of a single sentence, is worthy to rank as a prize composition just by itself. . . . Anybody can have ideas--the difficulty is to express them without squandering a quire of paper on an idea that ought to be reduced to one glittering paragraph." -- Mark Twain

"It is my aim, and every effort bent, that the sum and history of my life, which in the same sentence is my obit and epitaph too, shall be them both: He made the books and he died." -- William Faulkner