The first sentence of Angélica Gorodischer’s Kalpa Imperial is more than 200 words long. Two hundred and seventeen, if my hasty count is correct. I’ve had writing assignments meant to cover entire movies or concerts that were shorter than that. And there is more to that single paragraph—in the edition translated by Ursula K. Le Guin—before the writer moves on to the next thought, the next indent.
I think about this paragraph, with its one epic sentence, a lot. And I’ve been thinking about it more since an online event a few months ago during which the interviewer asked Kelly Link if there were any questions she wished people would ask her. Link said, after thinking for a moment, that she would like to talk about paragraphs. That she had questions about paragraphs.
And all of a sudden, so did I.