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Old 08-30-2013, 12:58 PM   #46
usuallee
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Originally Posted by DiapDealer View Post
Are people always so quick to assign pretentiousness to practices that don't align with their own personal preferences? I guess since I've always considered writing an art form, I don't quite understand the resentment directed toward someone who chooses to display an "artistic" penchant in a work no one has to read if they don't want to. Is there a fear that your favorite author(s) might "catch" this affliction or something?

I understand not liking something. That's perfectly normal. I just don't get the immediate leap to pretentiousness (by some). *shrugs*

And even if there is pretentiousness involved, I don't think I can use that to take points away from something I enjoyed reading -- that was well written. I guess didn't know humbleness was such a sought-after character trait in writers/writing.
Fair point. The thing is that omitting quotation marks seems to serve no practical purpose, and is, at best, distracting, and at worst, potentially confusing. So maybe not pretension, but certainly an affectation.

Someone pointed out that Cormac Mccarthy's style is very clear and straightforward & actually close to being the opposite of pretentious, and that's also true of the book I read as well, the Round House. Which was in fact a decent enough read, although for it to have won the national book award I thought was a bit of a stretch.
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Old 08-30-2013, 01:04 PM   #47
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It doesn't bother me, I'm more interested in substance than style. Until someone pointed it out I'm not sure I noticed the lack of quotation marks in Cormac McCarthy's books. I also don't flip out if the paragraphs are indented or not indented and I manage fine reading sloppily formatted or OCR'd books that others here complain bitterly about.
The problem is that any use of a nonstandard style calls attention to itself, which distracts the reader from the substance--so an author should have a darn good reason to abandon conventional practices of punctuation.
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Old 08-30-2013, 01:09 PM   #48
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The problem is that any use of a nonstandard style calls attention to itself, which distracts the reader from the substance--so an author should have a darn good reason to abandon conventional practices of punctuation.
Agreed. I have a long TBR list and dislike anything, other than substance or sometimes just a lovely use of words, that slows me down.
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Old 08-30-2013, 01:13 PM   #49
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Yes, good is good.

Unfortunately, I think you're still missing my point. I'm not saying it is pretentious, I'm saying that when it's done badly it frequently looks that way; and the number of people using the word seem to bear that out.
Oh I'm not missing the point ... I just don't understand why something done poorly needs to "look like" anything more than what it is -- namely failure (or the wrong audience). Nor how even the appearance of pretentiousness can be based on the perceived success/failure of a given technique. It just doesn't track for me personally.

But I'm not sweating it. I've no pressing need to understand why everyone feels the way they do about everything. I have enough difficulty understanding my own thought processes at times!

Last edited by DiapDealer; 08-30-2013 at 01:19 PM.
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Old 08-30-2013, 04:27 PM   #50
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I hate it. It's really not that hard to type quotation marks unless the writer is missing their pinkies. Then it would be understandable.
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Old 08-30-2013, 04:39 PM   #51
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Originally Posted by Catlady View Post
The problem is that any use of a nonstandard style calls attention to itself, which distracts the reader from the substance--so an author should have a darn good reason to abandon conventional practices of punctuation.

Which presupposes the "substance" is what you think it is.

There is often more to literary fiction than telling a story. If you don't get that, that's OK, but it doesn't really warrant you, or anyone else, rubbishing a piece of work because it rubs up against your expectations.
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Old 08-30-2013, 05:37 PM   #52
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Originally Posted by TGS View Post
Which presupposes the "substance" is what you think it is.

There is often more to literary fiction than telling a story. If you don't get that, that's OK, but it doesn't really warrant you, or anyone else, rubbishing a piece of work because it rubs up against your expectations.
Could you be any more condescending?
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Old 08-30-2013, 06:58 PM   #53
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Could you be any more condescending?
Oh yes, easily.
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Old 08-30-2013, 07:29 PM   #54
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I expect it does, because I bought Cold Mountain and noticed it had dashes or something instead of quotes and I just got exhausted at the thought of reading it that way and therefore have never read it.
That's not what I meant. It doesn't matter who is irritated by what, conclusion is we both prefer something to mark dialogue, me dashes, you quotation marks. Nvm.
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Old 08-30-2013, 08:23 PM   #55
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The recent dead and Nobel-laureate José Saramago is an adept of no quotes for dialog, which is inside a paragraph with nothing. I first hated it, then I've simply adapted. I keep don't liking, though.
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Old 08-30-2013, 08:50 PM   #56
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Originally Posted by TGS View Post
Which presupposes the "substance" is what you think it is.

There is often more to literary fiction than telling a story. If you don't get that, that's OK, but it doesn't really warrant you, or anyone else, rubbishing a piece of work because it rubs up against your expectations.
I personally think there's a difference between using a technique to evoke an effect, and using a technique so the reader can see that you're using the technique. I'll agree that good literary fiction is concerned with far more than simply plot and telling a story; but I'll also argue that the good writers don't write so that the readers pay attention to their technique.

Cormac McCarthy does the former, but he's also good enough to pull it off.
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Old 08-30-2013, 10:20 PM   #57
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Except for really bad fan fiction -- the kind you find unbetaed on FF. Net a.k.a. "The Pit of Voles" -- I have never encountered this phenomenon. In the unlikely event I do, I have two shelves reserved for books that annoy the snot out of me: "Wall Bangers" and "Author Deserves A Special Smack (Preferably With The Oxford English Dictionary)". This type of pretentious rubbish would soon find itself occupying both.
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Old 08-31-2013, 12:22 AM   #58
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Originally Posted by Antoinekamel View Post
The recent dead and Nobel-laureate José Saramago is an adept of no quotes for dialog, which is inside a paragraph with nothing. I first hated it, then I've simply adapted. I keep don't liking, though.
Yes, I recently finished Cain by Saramago and there was a distinct lack of punctuation there. One sentence might be the dialogue of one character. The next might be from a different character.

It was a bit of a jolt at the start as I was thinking there might have been something seriously wrong with the formatting of my ebook. Then I remembered that Saramago was known for this and after a while, it became easier. However, I think I would have preferred the more traditional approach.
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Old 08-31-2013, 12:30 AM   #59
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That's not what I meant. It doesn't matter who is irritated by what, conclusion is we both prefer something to mark dialogue, me dashes, you quotation marks. Nvm.
I guess it's all what you're used to.
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Old 08-31-2013, 12:33 AM   #60
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I guess I kind of have the viewpoint that if you're going to break the rules, there ought to be a damn good obvious reason for it.

e.e. cummings totally pulls it off. And there are other literary contexts where it does. But just changing quotation marks to something else in a novel for no apparent reason is a barrier to me reading that book when there are plenty others with punctuation marks that don't annoy me.
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