Re: The History of the Siege of Lisbon
Posted by Steven on 15/8/2011, 15:28:27, in reply to "Re: The History of the Siege of Lisbon"
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: But at least half of the time I was not able to
: identify who was saying what. Does anyone have any
: intentions of converting the first chapter into a
: dialogue written with a more standard system, using
: quotation marks and line breaks?
The whole book is this way, so you'll just have to get used to it.
Coincidentally I've read two other books in the last month that have no quotations marks. One of them was The Recognitions by William Gaddis--over 900 pages. Fortunately the author did use a dash to indicate the beginning of dialogue, even though there was nothing to say when it ended.
I suppose the doing without quotations marks is a form of stream of consciousness, but it seems to me that confusing the reader as to who is saying what is a different matter entirely. Perhaps the running of dialogue together is to simulate the way conversations actually happen, with speech overlapping, but in the real world you can always tell who's saying what by the voice.
One comment I once read that does, however, make a lot of sense is that the conventional pattern of starting a new paragraph with each change of speaker often gives undue weight to short expressions.
"Yes," he replies. "That little 'Oh?' standing by itself looks much more important than it really is."