Saturday, December 10, 2005

Sentenced To Death

Dear Editors of The Monthly,

I was perusing the latest issue of your magazine when this particular arrangement of letters and punctuation met my eyes:

In his brilliant review of Edwin Williamson's biography of Jorge Luis Borges, David Foster Wallace noted: "It often seems that the person we encounter in the literary biography could not have possibly written the works we admire."

Straight away, the letters came together to form words and the words came together to form a sentence. The sentence leaped into my eyes, and before I was able to do anything about it, I understood what had just happened: the writer had made a tangential reference to one author's review of a second author's biography of a third author, in order to make a general point about two other, completely unrelated, authors. It was one of the most hideously pointless sentences it had ever been my misfortune to read, and now it sat in my brain!

If there is anything you could do to wipe the memory of this sentence from my neural pathways, I would be most grateful. I am willing to sustain a substantial amount of memory loss, or even amnesia or Alzheimers. I'm sure you understand.

Thanking you in advance,
Tim Train

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