Punctuations role in the text.

It was extremely interesting to read the Steinberg’s essays. Especcialy #15 from On Punctuation. She discusses how she has overused the semicolon, but that her reasoning behind it is to create tension on the page, “I often want to convey a certain type of intimacy.” We see this clearly in ‘Spectacle’ where a form that she uses is written with only commas and semicolons. When you first look at it on the page it looks intimidating, overpowering, already creating tension to the readers eye. As well Steinberg states that punctuation is purposeful, it is an addition to the story line. She uses the example of using parentheses for a character that is going through hell, the punctuation acts as “a big bag” that contains the pain. Punctuation is a way to control the sentences. 

The essay will help with my own writing, as I never though of punctuation as part of the art of writing, it has always been a structure to follow, not to play with. 

In her essay on experimental writing was enlightening, especially with the three rules of experimental writing that she states. What really caught my eye in that particular essay though, was when she stated that she is willing to fail. When I read this I related it to my business class on Leadership that I am taking, and one key thing that we have learned is that we cannot be afraid to fail, because we can always pick ourselves back up. This line really struck deep with me, as I will always stop when I feel I have failed in my own writing. That is the experiment of it all though isn’t it, the unknown of the success or failure. 

In Signifier from ‘Spectacle’, I noticed a section on page 51 where the narrator mentions performance, of people getting tired of performing their roles. The narrator is talking about the roles that they perform, but it seems as though they are playing another role just in the text itself, attempting to seem one way, nonchalant about the situations they are in, not afraid of the men she is with, when she almost should be as things were happening that she did not want to. The narrator themselves are taking on another role just as narrator. 

It is also unique in that the narrator is speaking the the reader directly, attempting to relate the reader to themselves, for example on page 60, “How you’re just like me. How you think you aren’t…” 

I am interested in seeing how Steinberg’s experiment will come together in the end, with the style changes, and how the punctuation will play a role in the rest of the text and the readers emotions as Steinberg stated she doesn’t want to alienate the reader, I am intrigued to see how I will be able to relate or will feel by the end of the text. 

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