But I Digress by John Lennard
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But I Digress
By John Lennard

But I Digress

Exploitation of Parentheses in English Printed Verse

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Format: Hardback

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But I Digress by John Lennard

Book Description

Dr Johnson disapproved of parentheses and wouldn't use them; and for three centuries grammarians have argued that they are subordinate, additional, unnecessary, irrelevant, and damaging to the clarity of argument. But for Marlowe, Marvell, Swift, Coleridge, Byron, Browning, Eliot, Geoffrey Hill, and Derek Walcott (to name only poets) parentheses have been emphatic, original, necessary, relevant, and essential to the clarity of argument. They also intensify satire. Dr Lennard offers both a new history of the poetic use of lunulae (the marks of parenthesis) from their first appearance in England in 1494 to the present day, and detailed case-studies of individual poets who exploited lunulae. In combination the historical development of use and the individual's practice in a given period reveal the impact on literary composition of technological, philosophical, and political pressures, and the importance for the reader of regarding punctuation as a resource.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780198112471
ISBN-10: 0198112475
Format: Hardback
(241mm x 161mm x 24mm)
Pages: 340
Imprint: Clarendon Press
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publish Date: 21-Nov-1991
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

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