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Old 05-06-2010, 11:23 AM   #338
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Originally Posted by Darth InSidious View Post
The book is irritating as much in style as it is in content - all dialogue is in plain text, without quotation marks and only marked by "X said" in the (unparagraphed) text of the page.
The lack of quotation marks is very common for pre-19th century texts. While putting them in does rather clear up matters, editions which modernise this feature can't help but destroy some moments of poetic ambiguity. There's a passage in the first (highly allegorical) book of Edmund Spenser's Faerie Queene in which Redcross is overcome by the seductive words of the grotesque Despair. Around this point it becomes very difficult to tell who is doing the talking as Spenser removes all the quoths and thus-spakes. As Redcross succumbs to despair he seems almost to meld into the figure of Despair: which is wonderfully sinister.

The 14th Century worked hard to give us paragraphs, I feel sad when people let the 14th Century down.

Originally Posted by Darth InSidious View Post
This also appears to be the emergence-point for faux-mediaeval speech. Forsooth, 'tis no better than its modern successors in this. Verily. And possibly zounds, too. The constant flitting between "thee" and "thou" in otherwise modernised speech is infuriating, to say the least. Overall, one to skip unless you're determined to discover for yourself the origins of the gothic novel. It didn't actually take very long to read, but I found it drained my patience remarkably quickly.
I think 'thee' and 'thou', while quite old fashioned in the emerging Standard English, may well have been in common use until relatively recently. I know that Quakers used to talk to one another and may still do; indeed, if you go into some parts of rural Dorsetshire you may still be able to find someone who asks if 'thu bist' going to the pub.

Myself be readin' Cicero's Catiline Orations, the great orator's time to shine. So: Cicero saves the Republic but is exiled as a result. Bit of a downer that. -- News and features will be returning shortly...

I 'gin to be a-weary of the sun,
And wish the estate o' the world were now undone.

Last edited by Pavlos; 05-06-2010 at 11:38 AM.
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