Following yesterday’s post on punctuation marks in literature, five more, in order of increasing favoritism:
5. The forward slash (or solidus) that takes the place of the apostrophe in Hubert Selby Jr.’s Last Exit to Brooklyn: “I/ll see ya tomorrow.”
4. The apostrophes in line nine of William Shakespeare’s sonnet 116: “Love’s not time’s fool,” even if one of them is a later addition. The 1609 Quarto: “Lou’s not Times foole.”
3. The ellipsis that marks silences in David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest:
‘Hal?’4. The exclamation point that ends Rae Armantrout’s “Dusk”: “I’m not like that!”
‘. . .’
5. The comma in the final line of John Donne’s Holy Sonnet 6: “And death shall be no more, Death thou shalt die.” Or rather, that comma — not semicolon — as it figures in Margaret Edson’s play Wit. See here.
My top ten, in order of increasing favoritism: Selby, Shakespeare, Pound, Faulkner, Wallace, Joyce, Armantrout, Dickinson, Sterne, Edson.
All OCA punctuation posts (Pinboard)
[I’m aware of the charge that the apostrophe is a matter of spelling not punctuation. But I still think of it as punctuation. I’ve read somewhere that Wallace picked up the ellipsis from Manuel Puig. The Playbill for Wit read W;t: a beautiful touch of you-know-what.]