Book cover for Ongoingness/ 300 Arguments

Ongoingness/ 300 Arguments



04 April 2019
208 pages
Imprint: Picador


Every era has its wise aphorist. Sarah Manguso is ours and joins Marcus Aurelius, Thomas à Kempis, Montaigne.
If there were a literary equivalent of the debate as to who is the best pound-for-pound boxer currently fighting, then word for word, Sarah Manguso’s 300 Arguments — weighing in at a mere ninety pages — would surely emerge as one of the smartest and most stimulating books of recent years.
Reading Sarah Manguso is destroying me from the inside out.
The need for comfort through language is implicit – and sometimes explicit – in Manguso’s work. A good aphorism will comfort: you might want to stick it on the fridge – or in your memory. Although she claims to have no fondness for beginnings and endings, her fear of formlessness is apparent. Perhaps she seized on the aphorism as a form of elegant punctuation, a new way to stop time with the (in every sense) arresting line. Both books are written in protest at the void and in fear of insignificance.