Suspend Your Disbelief

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The caliber of umbrage it rouses in me cannot be contained by my usual disparagements.

I’m thrilled to announce that Colson Whitehead has joined our discussion review. Well, OK, not quite…but he did pen a rib-tickling pastiche of How Fiction Works“Wow, Fiction Works!”— in Harper’s (digested-read style). Fellow Wood readers (and really anyone), enjoy.

Here’s a taste:
Of the “perfect” sentence The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog, Whitehead-as-Wood writes:

The provenance of the sentence is not the issue; its terse, fierce beauty most assuredly is. Who is this brown fox, and how did he get so fast? To what can we attribute the lethargy of the canine—is it some onerous matter of faith or a vast existential conundrum? Where is the fox headed, into what gaping darkness? Indeed, where are we headed? For we are all of us implicated here. This is a sentence that insists upon itself and at the same time points to the greater mysteries, as if there were some secret order determining every letter. What more can we ask of art?

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