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46 votes
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Why doesn't James Joyce ever use quotation marks?

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 ...
DyingIsFun's user avatar
  • 1,104
19 votes

Why does Tolkien use neither quotes nor cursive writing, and all lower-case, in this specific "quote"?

I've not been able to find a scanned early edition text in a quick search, but I have checked out the scanned copies of the 1994 Houghton Mifflin Edition and the 2001 Quality Paperback Book Club ...
Spagirl's user avatar
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15 votes

Why doesn't James Joyce ever use quotation marks?

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 ...
BESW's user avatar
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10 votes
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Can absence of information be considered a stylistic choice?

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-...
Wallace's user avatar
  • 356
8 votes

What is the literary effect of dropping articles from titles?

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 ...
linguisticturn's user avatar
8 votes

Why aren't God's pronouns capitalized in Paradise Lost?

Reverential capitalization has never been a constant in English language works, and it's newer than you think. John Milton, born as the final touches were being made on the King James Version, may not ...
Laurel's user avatar
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7 votes

Did Pushkin ever deliberately copy the style of anyone else?

There are some examples. Early Pushkin was heavily influenced by Andre Chénier and tried to master his style through translation (here and elsewhere computer translation with my editing): The first ...
b4rtr's user avatar
  • 1,841
5 votes

How does That Hideous Strength show the influence of Charles Williams?

In his letters, J.R.R. Tolkien says that Williams was an influence on it. (He lamented it; he thought the influence had ruined it.) Williams' influence actually only appeared with his death: That ...
Mary's user avatar
  • 6,055
5 votes
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Use of "limited third-person point of view", vs "omniscient third person point of view" over the past century or so

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 ...
Gareth Rees's user avatar
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5 votes

What is the origin of including formulas in a literary text?

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, ...
plannapus's user avatar
  • 150
5 votes

What is the origin of including formulas in a literary text?

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-...
Kevin Troy's user avatar
  • 2,110
5 votes
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What is the effect of a text written in present tense and first-person?

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 ...
Fabjaja's user avatar
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5 votes
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Why does Poe's "Arthur Gordon Pym" become so Technical and Scientific all of a sudden?

The consensus of scholars is that Poe assembled Arthur Gordon Pym in a series of stages under financial and deadline pressure, that his conception of the novel changed at each stage, and that the ...
Gareth Rees's user avatar
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4 votes
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When did the perspective-switching trend begin?

The use of multiple perspectives has been a feature of the English novel from its earliest days. Samuel Richardson's Pamela, or Virtue Rewarded (1740), often considered the first novel in English, ...
verbose's user avatar
  • 28.7k
4 votes

Can absence of information be considered a stylistic choice?

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 ...
DukeZhou's user avatar
  • 4,253
4 votes
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Why does Dennis Brown say Hughes's Crow is "a sly parody of Eliot's later style"?

@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 ...
HeyJude's user avatar
  • 1,584
4 votes

Why don’t writers layer and number lengthy sentences?

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 ...
Gareth Rees's user avatar
  • 57.9k
4 votes
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Identify rhetorical/stylistic device in Tanpınar's The Time Regulation Institute

The passage appears to use the rhetorical device of aporia: the narrator asks a question expressing a certain doubt ("But can one really call it a life?") and then proceeds to give two ...
Tsundoku's user avatar
  • 45k
4 votes
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Is "The Blazing World" written in a standard style for Cavendish's time?

TL;DR: The length of Cavendish’s sentences is unremarkable for the seventeenth century. I found several modern studies of variation in sentence length across time, but none that covered the relevant ...
Gareth Rees's user avatar
  • 57.9k
3 votes
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Why is Cormac McCarthy's prose so often described as "sparse"

The lack of conventional punctuation, in particular clear attribution of dialog so that in long exchanges, you have to carefully trace to figure out who is say what is an example of sparseness -- ...
releseabe's user avatar
  • 490
3 votes

Why didn't Faulkner split a 118-word sentence into three, In "Barn Burning" when he writes about the boy protagonist?

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 ...
Chappo Hasn't Forgotten's user avatar
3 votes

Is there a name for this narrative technique or style?

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'...
Guildenstern's user avatar
3 votes

How's Thomas Babington Macaulay's sentence chiding Samuel Johnson 'a masterpiece of balance'?

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; ...
kimchi lover's user avatar
  • 4,200
3 votes
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Why is there no spelling consistency in Robert Ludlum's books?

Having searched the 2010 and 2012 Orionbooks.co.uk paperback editions Internet Archive copy of the edition, OP has stated they have an orionbooks.co.uk edition in comments, I am not able to find any ...
Spagirl's user avatar
  • 19.1k
3 votes

Style of poetry that plays with typographic rivers

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 ...
Tsundoku's user avatar
  • 45k
3 votes

Style of poetry that plays with typographic rivers

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 ...
DJohnson's user avatar
  • 406
3 votes

The literary study of scientific argument

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 ...
Tsundoku's user avatar
  • 45k
3 votes

Why does Dennis Brown say Hughes's Crow is "a sly parody of Eliot's later style"?

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 ...
DukeZhou's user avatar
  • 4,253
3 votes
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What makes the writing style of The Dynasts so distinctive?

The Dynasts is written in the form of a play, but it is immensely long (“three parts, nineteen acts, and one hundred and thirty scenes”) and is written without any consideration for the practicalities ...
Gareth Rees's user avatar
  • 57.9k
3 votes
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What did Wodehouse say about writing in the first-person?

Wodehouse wrote in a letter to William Townend dated 6 March 1932, (...) It's not all jam writing in the first person. The reader can know nothing except what Bertie tells him, and Bertie can know ...
Tsundoku's user avatar
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