Persnickety about punctuation

Last night, I started to read Ghita Schwartz’s Displaced Persons and had to stop reading it only a few pages in because the author didn’t use what I think are essential bits of punctuation: quotation marks for dialog. It seems to be a quirk of literary fiction; I’ve never seen it in any other genre.

Why do some literary authors leave out the quotation marks? It makes a book so much harder to read. Are they trying to achieve a stream-of-consciousness feeling? Are they trying to eliminate some of the artificialness of writing about life? I have no idea. Any thoughts?

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One thought on “Persnickety about punctuation

  1. I've come across this occasionally. I can't remember the exact books, but I think they were either British or British translations of foreign language books. Very strange.

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