Infinite Summer

Formed in the summer of 2009 to read David Foster Wallace's masterwork "Infinite Jest".
It is currently Mon Dec 11, 2017 12:36 am

All times are UTC - 8 hours [ DST ]


Forum rules


There are NO spoiler restrictions in this forum. Caveat emptor.



Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 3 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: single versus double quotation marks
PostPosted: Sun Jul 12, 2009 1:25 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Jun 22, 2009 9:50 pm
Posts: 71
I've been wondering if DFW's use of single quotation marks for dialogue is just a style thing, or if there is some other practical purpose (e.g., how many pages would be added to the novel if all the single quotation marks were converted to double?).

Elegant Complexity mentions this, but not the reason (as far as I can tell so far). I'm just wondering if there is maybe an intention for us to view the entire novel as a narration (perhaps by a narrator not necessarily completely trustworthy, as opposed to an omniscient author), such that the punctuation for all dialogue would be single quotation marks (as appropriate punctuation for quotations within quotations).

Apologies if this has been addressed...the board is growing!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: single versus double quotation marks
PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2009 2:21 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed Jun 24, 2009 4:16 pm
Posts: 86
Location: North Dakota
I'm pretty on board with the idea of the entire novel being almost told to us, hence quotes within invisible but understood quotes. I'm not sure who this narrator is or what sort of name we give it (meta-narrator?). But I look it as DFW thinking "ok, so when someone is quoted as quoting a different person single quotes are placed inside double quotes. I'm telling this story so whatever my characters say is really being said by me so they get the single quotes and the outer double quotes are unnecessary because they should be assumed?" OR maybe the reader is the narrator? It's your inner voice that's accompanying this text the way a narrator voice does. Maybe DFW is acknolwedging that voice as the speaker of the text?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: single versus double quotation marks
PostPosted: Wed Jul 15, 2009 1:30 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Jul 14, 2009 11:41 pm
Posts: 6
I think you guys are reading too much into this. Using " for primary quotations and ' for secondary is the norm in the US, but it's not the only way to do it. In Britain, that's almost always reversed. It's safe to bet that a grammar and logic nerd like Wallace was well aware of the alternatives, and picked based on efficiency (or maybe just aesthetics).


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 3 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 8 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group
Translated by MaĆ«l Soucaze © 2009 phpBB.fr