Literary Birthday – 19 April – Stanley Fish

Happy Birthday, Stanley Fish, born 19 April 1938.


  1. One day the Nouns were clustered in the street. An Adjective walked by, with her dark beauty. The Nouns were struck, moved, changed. The next day a Verb drove up, and created the Sentence.
  2. The purpose of a good education is to show you that there are three sides to a two-sided story.
  3. This is what language does: organise the world into manageable, and in some sense artificial, units that can then be inhabited and manipulated.
  4. Verbal fluency is the product of hours spent writing about nothing, just as musical fluency is the product of hours spent repeating scales.
  5. People write or speak sentences in order to produce an effect, and the success of a sentence is measured by the degree to which the desired effect has been achieved.
  6. Before the words slide into their slots, they are just discrete items, pointing everywhere and nowhere.

Stanley Fish is an American author, literary theorist, intellectual, and legal scholar. He is the author of How to Write a Sentence: And How to Read One and Winning Arguments: What Works and Doesn’t Work in Politics, the Bedroom, the Courtroom, and the Classroom.

Source for image (credit Barney Cokeliss) / Source for quotes

 by Amanda Patterson

Please click here for our Literary Birthday Calendar

Posted on: 18th April 2020