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From The Independent's
article (click on this link
for the graphics):
Dr Adam Calhoun is a neuroscientist at Princeton University, who, among other things, writes about how the brain works by using data visualisations.
In a recent post on Medium
, and on his blog
, he looked at the different uses of punctuation in novels, by using a tool to extract
only the punctuation from novels.
Calhoun told indy100 he was inspired by a series of posters:
I was originally inspired by Nicholas Rougeux
who had the original idea: take the words out of novels and just display the punctuation. I really just wanted to choose my favourite novel and put up the punctuation all across my wall. But I'm a scientist, so I immediately wanted to know how different authors compare! I first tried Faulkner and McCarthy and got the stunning visual difference that you can see.
I misread this and thought it would show the words without punctuation. It would be like trying to read old Latin, but worse, since our sentence structure is different.
I can't really see the patterns as patterns in the article, but it surprises me not one whit that Faulkner's and McCarthy's punctuation differ wildly. Absalom, Absalom, like most of Faulkner's work, deals pretty irreverently with our normal perceptions of well-formed prose. And yet, of course, it ranks as some of the greatest prose ever written.
Signature: Phil White
Non sum felix lepus