What’s the best sentence in the English language? New York Times columnist Stanley Fish’s new book, How To Write a Sentence and How to Read One, does exactly what its title suggests: explores the mechanics of superior sentence construction and also steps back and appreciates some of the greats. Fish picked five of his favorite sentences over on Slate, and they’re pretty hard to argue with. His picks include:
Of course this sent me scurrying to dig up my favorite lines, but they all seem sort of weak in comparison to those heavy hitters. Still, in the spirit of sharing, my two nominees:
Basically anything from the chapter “Of the Wings of Atalanta” would be an acceptable nomination, but the closing line just destroys me.
We’re not going to make this list without some line from Gatsby, right?
Let’s hear it, PopWatchers: What are your nominees for the best sentence in the English language? Is it a Shakespeare line? Chaucer? Joyce? Nabokov?