Commonplace Entry #9

” PERHAPS, the Well-regarded Rabbi said, raising his hands even higher, his voice even louder, WE DO NOT HAVE TO SETTLE THE MATTER AT ALL. WHAT IF WE NEVER FILL OUT A DEATH CERTIFICATE? WHAT IF WE GIVE THE BODY A PROPER BURIAL, BURN ANYTHING THAT WASHES ASHORE, AND ALLOW LIFE TO GO ON IN THE FACE OF THIS DEATH?

But we need a proclamation, said Froida Y, the candy maker.”

 –Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer, p.13

Stylistically, the author chooses not to use quotes, but italics, to indicate dialogue throughout the whole story. He also places text in all caps in sections in where the character is speaking LOUDLY, so as to convey to the reader that the character is speaking loudly. I think it’s a strong effect as I’m imagining this old orthodox rabbi shouting at people as he’s talking while I read.

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2 thoughts on “Commonplace Entry #9

  1. Hmm, using italics instead of quotation marks. I wonder why the author chose to do that? Is there a different mood or tone conveyed to the reader? It seems to me the text would be harder to read than a text with quotation marks. Pretty interesting.

  2. I started this book earlier in the quarter, but I wasn’t able to continue due to school work. I did, however, get far enough to see the way dialogue is presented in the novel. I found that the text was not more difficult to read due to it’s lack of quotation marks. I found it rather refreshing. I will definitely be picking the book back up over summer.

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