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Posts Tagged ‘punctuation style’

Still Unreadable…

April 22, 2012 8 comments
(Wordle) Cormac McCarthy - The Road

The Road by Cormac McCarthy I mean. What? You’re saying its the greatest piece of modern literature EVER.

No, it really is not. And perhaps I might even get through it, were I be able to read through the wall of text which I am confronted with every time I try. I have this book in hard book form, tried to read it, couldn’t manage it. I figured why not give it a go in e-book format? Maybe on the good old Nook I could digest it more, figure out how to follow the words on the page.

That is, distinguish between narrative and dialogue. HA! Look, I could careless about periodsquestion marks, and commas. I really do think how an author employs those things is more a matter of personal style than, hard or fast “rules”. But the single most thing which makes The Road hard to read, even more so in e-book format, is a complete lack of quotation marks. On an ereader lacking these simple symbols {” “} what you get is a block of text, where you cannot even see what’s going on.

As I said, Cormac McCarthy‘s unique  punctuation style, or lack thereof, NOT AN ISSUE. I would refer you to Lin Robinson’s Rules… much of what we take to be codified English, is not in fact codified. Nor is it a means to telling a great story.

However these little symbols {” “} are a necessity, meant to reduce chance of a migraine on part of your reader. Not using them, is no indication of genius. I know a guy who will write blog rants in this style. its painful on the eye, hard to tell what he is saying. What you get is a massive block of text which becomes meaningless.

OK, now that I’ve unleashed the wrath of Cormac McCarthy fans everywhere. Allow me to restate.  I’ve made two attempts to read this book, which I’m informed is quite genius, or I would not have made a second attempt. Each time was a headache inducing experience. I gave it my best shot.

Though, maybe I shouldn’t put too much credence in the NY Times Book Review. I know, I’m an apostate for uttering such a thing.