44

James Joyce preferred dashes to quotation marks for aesthetic reasons. He even went so far as to call quotation marks "perverted commas". He remarks on his dislike of quotation marks at various places in his correspondences: I think the fewer the quotation marks the better.... The ‘ ’ are to be used only in the case of a quotation in full dress, I think, ...


18

Vowels in Hebrew - called n'kudot - are written as dots and lines surrounding the letters. In an actual Torah - written on parchment - these symbols aren't there. As an example, here's a picture of a book called a "tikkun", which is used to help learn the chanting for the traditional way to read the Torah: On the right side is text with ...


17

As other answers have mentioned, what is meant is simply what is said: many renderings of the Torah leave out the vowel markers (and punctuation). As several comments have offered, this is a common feature of a lot of Hebrew text, and more broadly, is found in quite a few languages (off the top of my head, I believe Arabic is also often written this way, and ...


14

It's called "quotation dashes," or "theater style," or "the continental manner." The latter term is because it's used (among several other styles, like < > ) by many languages common in continental Europe, but it's common enough in English that you'll find it in the writings of authors as diverse as William Faulkner, Philip K. Dick, and Cormac McCarthy. ...


5

This poem seems to have two meanings here, a literal one and a metaphorical one. Let's look at the last eight lines: We are greater than the Peoples or the Kings—    Be humble, as you crawl beneath our rods!- Our touch can alter all created things,    We are everything on earth—except The Gods!    &...


5

I don't know about this specific book, but they could simply be actual place names. For instance: Cross Roads, Pennsylvania. And an 1861 NYT news article reports that "The skirmish took place about one mile in advance of the Cross Roads, just this side of the railroad", referring to a place properly known as "Ball's Cross Roads". ...


5

In general, a lot of terms in literature are not very strictly defined: the definitions may vary among different schools of study and different people may use the same term in different ways. I say this not only from my viewpoint as a mathematician (coming from a field where every term is very strictly and unambiguously defined) - it's quite clear in ...


4

The narrator of ‘The Screaming Skull’ describes himself as ‘an old sailor’, and this paragraph is set aboard a ship, so ‘Top’ has this meaning: top, n.1. 9.a. A platform near the head of each of the lower masts of a ship. Oxford English Dictionary (This platform provides attachment points for the shrouds supporting the topmast, and in military ships ...


4

What @Emrakul said, but also because Todd Klein did the lettering. Letterers don't get much notice or respect, but Klein is something of a rockstar in his field. I believe Will Eisner was the first important letterer (although he was also, obviously, an author and artist, and hugely significant if the award named for him is any indication.) With Sandman, ...


3

Instead of interpreting ‘may i feel said he’ as describing the gradual unfolding of a relationship, I think it works better to read it as the dialogue of two lovers engaged in sexual intercourse, moving from caress in the first stanza to orgasm in the last. As for the parentheses, Tartakovsky divides the uses of parentheses in Cummings’ poems into seven ...


2

The difference is based in grammar. The capitalised terms fall into two groups. There are the straightforward nouns, 'Rock' and 'River' etc preceded by an indefinite article, 'A' and which can be taken as single examples of their class, but there are also Definite Generics where the singular noun represents the whole class or category, you can have 'A Rock' ...


2

Your examples aren't representative of how I've seen dash style used (mostly in books in Spanish, but James Joyce also used it, perhaps because of his exposure to it while living in France). When there's something more than a dialogue tag, it's typical for there to be a additional dashes to introduce the additional dialogue, e.g., — No! — said Gandalf, ...


2

Stream of consciousness is a technique to mimic the internal thought process of a character. As such some form of punctuation would be appropriate. Think of times when you might think something like, "What a jerk." In those cases punctuation would make sense. In general, I've seen punctuation in stream of consciousness to direct the flow of thought and ...


2

I speak no German and have no knowledge of the play beyond what quarter of an hour on Google has rendered. From that it is clear that the characters whose speech is broken up with obliques are dead people, skeletons or incarnations of death itself. It would seem then that the slash marks are to indicate a difference in the manner of the speech from the ...


1

This is strictly a matter of differences in punctuation styles among writers of English from different nations. I love Joyce, and find his use of dashes for quotations economical, elegant and perfect easy to follow. I have seen old American editions of his works that tried substituting quotation marks for the dashes, and the results were hideous. ...


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