prose sculpture

n.

  1. The art of concatenating words into sentences, as appreciated independently of their capacity for storytelling.

The comics have always been a kind of elephant’s graveyard of antiquated plot devices…. DC Comics in the middle sixties were a particularly golden age in this respect, because while other comics publishers like Marvel and Warren were making tentative sallies into character drama and the adult market, DC were still resolutely plumbing away in search of the lowest common denominator of all narrative art, under such marvellous hacks as the legendary Gardner F. Fox (whose novel Kothar — Barbarian Swordsman ranks among the classics of contemporary prose sculpture). —Nick Lowe, “The Well-Tempered Plot Device”

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