We here at RADIO FREE LERXSTWOOD now present a classic. In fact, this is the
only known example of an entirely self-referential story, and therefore
could not possible be omitted from this, our self-referential broadcast.
                     This is the Title of the Story
        Which is Also Found Several Times in the Story Itself
    This is the first sentence of the story. This is the second sentence.
This is the title of the story, which is also found several times in the story
itself. This sentence is questioning the intrinsic value of the first two
sentences. This sentence is to inform you, in case you haven't already realized
it, that this is a self referential story, that is, a story containing
sentences that refer to their own structure and function. This is a sentence
that provides an ending to the first paragraph.
    This is the first sentence of a new paragraph in a self-referential
story. This sentence is introducing you to the protagonist of the story,
a young boy named Billy. This sentence is telling you that Billy is blond
and blue-eyed and american and twelve years old and strangling his mother.
This sentence comments on the awkward nature of the self-referential
narrative form while recognizing the strange and playful detachment it affords
the writer. As if illustrating the point made in the last sentence, this
sentence reminds us, with no trace of facetiousness, that children are a
precious gift from God and that the world is a better place when graced by
the unique joys and delights they bring to it.
    This sentence describes Billy's mother's bulging eyes and protruding
tongue and makes reference to the unpleasant choking and gagging noises she
is making. This sentence makes the observation that these are uncertain
and difficult times, and that relationships, even seemingly deep-rooted
and permanent ones, do have a tendency to break down.
   Introduces, in this paragraph, the device of sentence fragments. A
sentence fragment. Another. Good device. Will be used more later.
   This is actually the last sentence of the story, which has been placed
here by mistake. This is the title of the story, which is also found several
times in the story itself. As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy
dreams he found himself in his bed transformed into a giant insect. This
sentence informs you that the preceding sentence is from another story
entirely (a much better story, it must be noted) and has no place at all
in this particular narrative. Despite the claims of the preceding sentence,
this sentence feels compelled to inform you that the story you are reading
is actually "The Metamorphosis" by Franz Kafka, and that the sentence
referred to by the preceding sentence is the only sentence which does indeed
belong in this story. This sentence overrides the preceding sentence by
informing the reader (poor, confused wretch) that this piece of literature
is actually the Declaration of Independence, but that the author, in a show
of extreme negligence (if not malicious sabotage), has so far failed to include
even one sentence from that stirring document, although he has consented
to use a small sentence fragment, namely, "when in the course of human
events", embedded in quotation marks near the end of a sentence. Showing
a keen awareness of the boredom and downright hostility of the average
reader with regard to the  pointless conceptual games indulged in by the
preceding sentences, this sentence returns us at last to the scenario of
the story by asking the question,"Why is Billy strangling his mother?"
This sentence tries to shed some light on the question posed by the
preceding sentence, but fails. This sentence, however, succeeds, by
suggesting a possible incestuous relationship between Billy and his mother
and alludes to the concomitant Freudian complications any astute reader
will envision immediately. Incest. The unspeakable taboo. The universal
prohibition. And notice the sentence fragments. Good literary device, that.
Will be used more later.
     This is the first sentence of a new paragraph. This is the last sentence
in a new paragraph.
     This sentence can serve as either the beginning of the paragraph or the
end, depending on its placement. This is the title of the story, which is
also found several times in the story itself. This sentence raises a serious
objection to the whole class of self-referential sentences that merely comment
on their own function or placement( for example, the last four sentences) on
the grounds that they are monotonously predictable, unforgivably self-indulgent,
and only serve to distract the reader from the real subject of the story,
which at this point seems to concern strangulation and incest and who knows
what other delightful topics. This sentence wants to point out that while
the last sentence was not in itself a member of the class of sentences it
objects to, it nevertheless also serves to distract the reader from the
real subject of the story, which concerns Gregor Samsa's inexplicable
transformation into a giant insect (despite the vociferous claims of other
well-meaning but misinformed sentences). This sentence can serve as either the
beginning of the paragraph or the end, depending on its placement.
     This is the title of the story, which is also found several times
in the story itself. This is almost the title of the story, which is
found only once. This sentence regretfully states that up to this point
the self-referential mode of narrative has had a paralyzing effect on the
progress of the story, that is, these sentences have been so concerned with
analyzing their role in the story that they have failed to perform the
function of communicators of events and ideas that one hopes will coalesce
into a plot, character development, etc.-- in short, the very raisons d`etre
of any hardworking, respectable sentence in the midst of a compelling piece
of prose fiction. This sentence in addition points out the obvious analogy
between the plight of these agonizingly self-aware sentences and similarily
afflicted human beings, and it points out the analogous paralyzing effects
wrought by excessive and tortured self examination.
     The purpose of this sentence (which can also serve as a paragraph)
is to speculate that if the Declaration of Independence had been worded
and structured as lackadaisically and incoherently as this story has been
so far, there's no telling what sort of warped libertine society we'd be
living in now or to what depths of decadence the inhabitants of this country
might have sunk, even to the point of of deranged and debased writers
constructing irritatingly cumbersome and needlessly prolix sentences that
sometimes possess the questionable if not downright undesirable quality of
referring to themselves and they sometimes even become run-on sentences or
exhibit other signs of inexcusably sloppy grammar like unneeded superfluous
redundancies that almost certaintly would have insidious effects on the
lifestyle and morals of our impressionable youth, leading them to commit
incest or even murder and maybe THAT'S why Billy is strangling his mother,
because of sentences just like this one, which have no discernible goals
or perspicuous purpose and just end anywhere, even in the mid
     Bizarre. A sentence fragment. Another fragment. Twelve years old.
This is a sentence that. Fragmented. And strangling his mother. Sorry.
This is. Blond. Fragment after fragment. This is the title which. Sorry,
sorry. Bizarre. Tongue and bulging eyes. Fragment. Damn good device.
     This sentence would like to (1) apologize for the unfortunate and
inexplicable lapse exhibited by the preceding paragraph, 2) to assure you,
the reader, that it will not happen again, and(3) to reiterate the
point that these are uncertain and difficult times, and that aspects of
language, even seemingly stable and deep rooted ones such as syntax and
meaning, do break down. This sentence adds nothing substantial to the
the sentiments of the preceding sentences but merely provides an ending to
this paragraph, which otherwise might not have one.
     This sentence, in a sudden and courageous burst of altruism, tries to
abandon the self-referential mode, but fails. This sentence tries again, but
the attempt is doomed from the start.
     This sentence, in a last ditch attempt to infuse some iota of storyline
into this paralyzed prose piece, quickly alludes to Billy's frantic cover-up
attempts, followed by a lyrical, touching, and beautifully written passage
wherein Billy is reconciled with his father (thus resolving the subliminal
Freudian conflicts obvious to any astute reader) and a final exciting police
chase scene in which Billy is accidentally shot by a rookie cop who is
coincidentally named Billy. This sentence, although basically in complete
sympathy with the laudable efforts of the preceding action-packed sentence,
reminds the reader that such allusions to a story that doesn't, in fact,
yet exist are no substitute for the real thing and therefore will not get the
author (indolent goof off that he is) off the proverbial hook.
     Paragraph. paragraph. paragraph. paragraph. paragraph. Paragraph.
PARAGRAPH! *paragraph* paragraph.
     The Purpose. Of this sentence. Is to apologize. For it's gratuitous
use. Of. Sentence fragments.
     The purpose of this sentence is to apologize for the pointless and
silly adolescent games indulged in by the preceding two paragraphs, and to
express regret on the part of us, the more mature sentences, that the entire
tone of this story is such that it can't seem to communicate a simple,
albeit sordid, scenario.
     This sentence wishes to apologize for all the needless apologies found
in this story (this one included), which, although placed here ostensibly
for the benefit of the more vexed readers, merely delay in a maddeningly
recursive way the continuation of the by-now nearly forgotten storyline.
     This sentence is bursting at the punctuation marks with news of the
dire import of self-reference as applied to sentences, a practice that could
prove to be a veritable Pandora's box of potential havoc, for if a sentence
can refer or allude to itself, why not a lowly subordinate clause, *perhaps
this very clause?!* Or three words? Two words? *ONE!*
     Perhaps it is appropriate that this sentence gently and with no trace
of condescension remind us that these are indeed difficult and uncertain
times and that in general people just aren't nice enough to each other, and
perhaps we, whether sentient human beings or sentient sentences, should just
try harder! I mean, there IS such a thing as free will, there HAS to be, and
this sentence is proof of it! Neither this sentence nor you, the reader, is
completely helpless in the face of all the pitiless forces at work in the
universe. We should stand our ground, face facts, take Mother Nature by the
throat and just try harder! By the throat. Harder. Harder.
     This is the last sentence of the story. This is the last sentence of
the story. This is the last sentence of the story. This is.
     This is the title of the story, which is also found several times in
the story itself.
     This is.