”For John Banville, the sentence is ‘this essential piece of our humanness. . . our greatest invention.’ […] Skilled writers write in sentences—not because sentences are what we all write in (although they are), but because they write small. They see the sentence as the ur-unit, the granular element that must be got right or nothing will be right. Their books, however long they become, are gatherings of sentences.
Scientists at the Institute of Nuclear Physics in Kraków analyzed more than a hundred classic works by authors such as Dickens, Joyce and Beckett, and found that the sentences behaved like a mathematical multifractal: a structure whose smallest part resembles its whole. The best writing is self-consistent. It sounds as if it comes from the same breathing body standing in the same place, rather as wine from a certain terroir is said to have, from its climate and soil, a taste irreplicable anywhere else. What special terroirmakes a piece of writing irreplicable? Its sentences.”