Animal Dreams, by Barbara Kingsolver

Another book that I’m reading for study. It’s been creeping up on me, I’ve seen the end coming, but it still hit me like a truck when it finally did. I love that. Here’s the two sentences I’ve chosen:

“Hallie once pointed out to me that people worry a lot more about the eternity after their deaths than the eternity that happened before they were born. But it’s the same amount of infinity, rolling out in all directions from where we stand.”

The Great Gatsby, Chapter One, by F. Scott Fitzgerald

I’m re-reading Gatsby for the first time in ten years, due to an upcoming lit subject—good timing with the movie just coming out, although I’m not a Luhrmann fan and don’t hold high hopes for it. Two sentences leapt out at me in Chapter One. Firstly, a vivid description of Tom and Daisy’s front lawn and house:

“The lawn started at the beach and ran toward the front door for a quarter of a mile, jumping over sun-dials and brick walks and burning gardens—finally when it reached the house drifting up the side in bright vines as though from the momentum of its run.”

And then, of course, the mysterious Gatsby’s first physical appearance in the book, under the beautifully described “silver pepper of the stars”:

“The silhouette of a moving cat wavered across the moonlight, and turning my head to watch it, I saw that I was not alone—fifty feet away a figure had emerged from the shadow of my neighbor’s mansion and was standing with his hands in his pockets regarding the silver pepper of the stars.”

Daisy Miller, by Henry James

Finally I have chosen a sentence which is just that: a single sentence. This one comes from a scene in which Mr Winterbourne has rushed to see the oblivious Mrs Miller, to warn her about Daisy’s “inappropriate” conduct in her companionship with Mr Giovanelli.

“Winterbourne replied that he certainly should; and the state of mind of Daisy’s mamma struck him as so unprecedented in the annals of parental vigilance that he gave up as utterly irrelevant the attempt to place her on her guard.”

Libra, by Don DeLillo

I’m studying this one for an undergrad American Literature unit, and once again it’s more than a single sentence. Should I have called these posts “paragraphs” instead of “sentences”? Oh well.

“Think of two parallel lines,” he said. “One is the life of Lee H. Oswald. One is the conspiracy to kill the President. What bridges the space between them? What makes a connection inevitable? There is a third line. It comes out of dreams, visions, intuitions, prayers, out of the deepest levels of the self. It’s a line that cuts across causality, cuts across time. It has no history that we can recognize or understand. But it forces a connection. It puts a man on the path of his destiny.”