Thursday, 13 October 2011

Wilde... apostrophiser of boys but not punctuation

Can punctuation, as well as poetry, provide a critical plot twist in my fiction?

Well. Yes. Remember, Roger Casement, the Irish nationalist, was 'hanged by a comma'.

In my latest collection of fiction, Listen Close to Me (Salt 2011), a bibliophile remarks on Wilde's cavalier use of the apostrophe. '[Wilde ] had a habit of apostrophising possessive pronouns when everyone knows they're absent.'

The truth of this observation I confirm in my miniature essay, Addendum to a Forgotten ms (Ambit, Issue 203, Winter 2011).

Meanwhile, if you doubt my word, take a look at Oscar Wilde's inconsistent apostrophising evidenced by the following writing samples. They are from his manuscript ('it's marble hue ... it's vein of blue ...') for his poem, Roses and Rue, of 1885.

Are these errors pathological? A Freudian graphologist might think so!

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