But some other writers seem to know that it takes more than [blamelessness] for a sentence to cohere and flourish as a work of art. They seem to know that the words inside the sentence must behave as if they were destined to belong together—as if their separation from each other would deprive the parent story or novel, as well as the readerly world, of something life-bearing and essential.

These writers recognize that there needs to be an intimacy between the words, a togetherness that has nothing to do with grammar or syntax but instead has to do with the very shapes and sounds, the forms and contours, of the gathered words. This intimacy is what we mean when we say of a piece of writing that it has a felicity—a fitness, an aptness, a rightness about the phrasing.

Gary Lutz, The Sentence is a Lonely Place


  1. Kris says:

    hey, sorry i know this is off topic, but can you please add hope to your twistori site?

  2. OMG that is the best quote. I can’t wait to read the whole thing. Awesome awesome stuff. I like knowing people think of words with such care and love and wonder. He puts into words things I sort of had thought about but not quite like that, and not fully. This gives me great places to explore from here. Thank you.

  3. random8r says:

    Hey amy… just wanted to let you know that I think you’re <a href="http://random8.zenunit.com/2009/05/05/women-folk-rails-delicious-writing-and-amy-hoy">a RAD coder-gurl and general appreciator of quality</a>, and no I’m not trying for a play on the words Rapid Application Development, tho that is kinda appropriate 😉

  4. Juuso says:

    Kind of off topic here, but what’s going on with Amy’s blogging? Haven’t seen updates in a long time.

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