Sentence by Sentence & Story by Story: Brian Evenson’s ‘Fugue State’

Posted by @ 10:55 pm on May 29th, 2009

fugueJust got a galley of Brian Evenson’s new collection ‘Fugue State,’ coming out in July from Coffee House Press. I haven’t felt this giddy about a book in a while. As with each Evenson title that comes out, I feel he reroutes not only the terrain of what is possible in fiction, but my own mind and method of writing: the power of new blood page by page.

In the spirit of this, and because I’m so excited about it I can’t help not, I’ll be exploring the book and reviewing it or commenting on it story by story, between longer posts on my own blog, and over here, at Giant, sharing my favorite sentence from each story, beginning now, with the first piece in the collection, ‘Younger,’ which kicked off the book in massive, terrored form, if in a more subtle and understated way than Evenson’s past might have predicted, maybe even more so, for it, terrifying.

In this way, we’ll lead up to the release of the book in July slowly and then continue with posts thereafter with the book in people’s hands.

Here’s the sentence:

They weren’t getting anywhere, which meant that she, the younger sister, wasn’t getting anywhere, was still wondering what, if anything, had happened, and what, if anything, she could do to free herself from it.

I love the repetition in the short segments here, the repeating and recursing tonalities, but also the mental loop of the logic therein, the sentence trying to figure what it is saying out while it is saying which as a pocket in the story, about being locked in a moment of a life, hit full on in its pacing, with the kind of abstract but right-there verbiage and at-your-throat but aimed away construction that seems so difficult to nail, and yet which Evenson is unarguably a master.

My full post on the story itself is now live here.

More info on ‘Fugue State’ here.

Preorder ‘Fugue State’ here.

More all in thereon to be continued…

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