Alphabetical Sentences

Copyright © 2024 Chris Culy

Inspired by Alphabetical Diaries by Sheila Heti


The author Sheila Heti used an interesting technique to write her Alphabetical Diaries: she took all the sentences from 10 years of her diaries, alphabetized them, then selected and edited them to come up with the book. This page lets you experiment with an automatic version of this technique: you provide one or more texts (some examples are provided), and it will automatically find sentences (though rather imperfectly), alphabetize them, and select ones according to the criteria you choose below. The options here go beyond what Heti did and include reverse alphabetization and using the last word of each sentence instead of the first for alphabetizing. However, the default settings imitate the procedure that Heti used, including the selection rate.

See my blog post for more details, but I think you will find that the Sheila Heti's book of hand-selected and edited sentences is much more artful than (most of) what this web page produces automatically.


Julia Wilbur's diary is on the Alexandria, VA site; the rest of the books can be found on Project Gutenberg.

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