Hot answers tagged

42

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, ...


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. ...


9

Omission is an extremely important part of style. Often what is said is actually less important than what is left unsaid, sometimes referred to as the subtext. Hence the critical importance of the oft-repeated advice to "read between the lines." One particularly brilliant use of this stylistic device occurs in F. Scott's Fitzgerald description of Gatsby ...


6

Originally, what follows was a section of the question. However, at the suggestion of Gallifreyan, I've migrated it to this answer. It's quite long, and it includes works by others as well as a little original analysis of mine that I've done for the case of Easy Rider. Summary of the research conducted so far 'Book titles and their articles' by Leszek ...


5

In Gestes et Opinions du Docteur Faustroll, 'Pataphysicien (transl. Exploits and Opinions of Dr. Faustroll, Pataphysician), written by Alfred Jarry (of Ubu Roi fame) in 1898 but published in 1911, contains as last chapter (before the Speculations) a chapter called 'De la Surface de Dieu' (transl. On the Surface of God) which contains formulas and a supposed ...


5

When it was published, Cryptonomicon was often compared to Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow, which is also set during WWII and (to a much lesser extent than Cryptonomicon) the present day, has a technology-centered plot (to the extent it has a plot at all), and explores themes of the relationships between individuals, society, and technology. Calculus and ...


5

Examining them independently first of all: The first-person narrative Is defined by the use of personal pronouns, 'I' and 'my' it creates the effect of seeing and experiencing the events of a text through the character's or narrator's eyes, like in your example with I see. Furthermore, it evokes a distinctly personal angle from the text. Is a subjective ...


4

Brooks Landon has already provided the explanation in the final paragraph that you've quoted: just as the thinking of Hemingway’s old waiter is infinitely more tired and less active than the thinking of Faulkner’s boy, the sentence each writer constructs is intended to hit us in very different ways for very different reasons. Start cutting out words ...


3

Wallace's answer is definitive, so this answer is merely in way of commentary on the issue. Hidden information is not only a stylistic choice, but a strategic choice Viewed from the standpoint of information theory, meaning is created by an author's choices. In some cases author's want to "spell things out" in an unambiguous way, but great literature ...


3

John Hollander describes poems of this type as pattern poems or shaped verse in his book Types of Shape. Here's a useful quote from the backcover of the book: This book is a collection of pattern poems - poems whose printed format presents a picture of some familiar object that is also the subject of the text. Patterned poems, also called shaped verse,...


3

It is perfectly possible to analyse a scientific text such as a journal article from a literary point of view. This implies looking at aspects such as word choice, the description of the research method, authorial presence and other stylistic aspects. When one compares scientific articles from the seventeenth century from articles from today, it is obvious ...


3

@DukeZhou correctly referred me to Eliot's Four Quartets. After reading it thoroughly, I think that the passage quoted on the question refers to the following lines of the last part of the third quartet - The Dry Salvages: For most of us, there is only the unattended Moment, the moment in and out of time, The distraction fit, lost in a shaft ...


3

By Eliot's later work, this is almost certainly referring to Four Quartets, Eliot's most post-modern poem. See: T. S. Eliot bibliography > Poetry If you've read a lot of Eliot, there is a great deal of evolution between Prufrock (1917) and the Quartets (1940-43). Rather than attempting a breakdown of the differences between the Wasteland (1921) and the ...


3

Restating the claim in the question, writers like Joseph Conrad should have structured their books like decks of PowerPoint slides, which would have made them more readable, and clearer. The first point to make, though it may seem a little cheap, is that you haven’t tried it: your questions here have all been written in standardly presented prose ...


2

It's called many things, but the most common terms seem to be multiperspectivity (what Wikipedia uses), alternate point of view, multiple narrative, and switching point of view. Multiperspectivity, however, seems to be a bit of a broader term - it refers to more than just literature. It does seem to be a fairly common style (at least now) - I know Rick ...


2

I note that the two authors you cite are both English writers, and so the issue you bring up deals with how the English language acquired its extensive vocabulary. While many of the words used in writing English are words inherited from Middle English (I will refer to this as stock English), a large part of English vocabulary comes from borrowings from ...


2

To answer the question implied by your "I feel": The sentence in question His constant practice of padding out a sentence with useless epithets, till it became as stiff as the bust of an exquisite; his antithetical forms of expression, constantly employed even where there is no opposition in the ideas expressed; his big words wasted on little things; his ...


2

In this answer, I'm going to address only the speculation from the last paragraph of the post: Perhaps, the limited third-person point of view a recent innovation, and unheard-of 100 years ago This is far from the case: in fact, by the early 20th century the limited third-person point of view was well along the road to taking over English fiction. So in ...


2

The best-known type of poetry that plays with text alignment is concrete poetry. The term was coined in the 1950s (Meid: 468) and should not be confused with visual poetry (Knörrich: 121). The Swiss poet Eugen Gomrigner was probably the first to write some sort of theory of concrete poetry, although he used the term "Konstellation" (in 1953, and in his 1954 ...


1

I think you might be looking for the term "free indirect speech" in which the narration directly includes character thoughts and perspectives. Because the narrator is directly reporting the characters' thoughts like this, when the focus is on different characters, the narration tone and style can change as well. Some good examples of free indirect speech ...


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. ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible