Ellipsis in English Literature: Signs of Omission

Ellipsis in English Literature: Signs of Omission

by Anne Toner


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Ellipsis in English Literature: Signs of Omission by Anne Toner

Anne Toner provides an original account of the history of ellipsis marks - dots, dashes and asterisks - in English literary writing. Highlighting ever-renewing interest in these forms of non-completion in literature, Toner demonstrates how writers have striven to get closer to the hesitancies and interruptions of spoken language, the indeterminacies of thought, and the successive or fragmented nature of experience by means of these textual symbols. While such punctuation marks may seem routine today, this book describes their emergence in early modern drama and examines the relationship between authors, printers and grammarians in advancing or obstructing the standardisation of the marks. Their development is explored through close study of the works of major English writers, including Jonson, Shakespeare, Richardson, Sterne, Meredith and Woolf, along with visual illustrations of their usage. In particular, Toner traces the evolution of ellipsis marks in the novel, a form highly receptive to elliptical punctuation.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781107421325
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 08/31/2017
Pages: 265
Sales rank: 1,115,344
Product dimensions: 5.98(w) x 9.02(h) x (d)

About the Author

Anne Toner is a Fellow and Director of Studies in English at Trinity College, Cambridge.

Table of Contents

Introduction: observing the ellipsis; 1. Ellipsis marks in early printed drama; 2. Chasms and the eighteenth-century novel; 3. Ellipsis and the ends of novels; 4. Nineteenth-century 'explorations in Dot-and-Dashland'; 5. Ellipsis and modernity.

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