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Thread: A Curiosity

  1. #1
    The Poetic Warrior Dark Muse's Avatar
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    A Curiosity

    There is one thing I have often enough noticed in a variety of books, both classical and modern which always nagged at me, because I never could see the reason for doing it. That is in many stories, the names of people, dates or places will be left more or less blank, in the way one might do if they were writing about an actual person and wanted to protect their identity, but in this case, I am speaking of this occurring in works of fiction.

    And there will not seem to be any particular reason why it is done within the stories.

    There might be in a story a character known simply as Mr. M---, but it will not appear as if the omitting of the name is in any way significant to the story, nor will there be anything about the character which might suggest why their name should be omitted.

    Or in other stories I have read it will say it was 18---, but again there will be no seeming reason for why the full date should not be accounted for.

    And in a book I am reading right now, there is a place that was known only as C---

    Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before. ~ Edgar Allan Poe

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    Bibliophile JBI's Avatar
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    It's either a way to not being sued for libel, in the case of Alexander Pope, or a way to create timelessness, in the case of Death In Venice, or a way to make the thing read like non-fiction with pseudo-blanks to try and cloak identities.

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    The Poetic Warrior Dark Muse's Avatar
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    Thank you for your insight on this, it always bugs me when I see it in books.

    Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before. ~ Edgar Allan Poe

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    The Poetic Warrior Dark Muse's Avatar
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    Hehe I just to joke around and say the authors were just lazy. If it was a minor charcator, they just did not want to think up a real name for them. Or have to bother with coming up with acutal dates so they just left it blank LOL

    Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before. ~ Edgar Allan Poe

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    Asa Nisi Masa mayneverhave's Avatar
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    I've noticed that as well. It seems to be pretty common in Russian literature.

    A particular use of it is in Dryden's "MacFlecknoe", which places another poet, Thomas Shadwell, in a mock-epic. Every instance of Shadwell's name is rendered merely "Sh____".

    Dryden does this as a slight (very slight) attempt at covering up his victim's name.

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    Kafkaesque johann cruyff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mayneverhave View Post
    I've noticed that as well. It seems to be pretty common in Russian literature.
    Yes,Dostoevsky does it a lot,most notably in The House of the Dead.I thought he did that to protect,and yet hint the identities of his former inmates who were later described in this book as people Goryanchikov meets?
    Noću, u intimnom, poluglasnom razgovoru sa samim sobom, nikako ne mogu zapravo logički opravdati zašto se u posljednje vrijeme toliko uzrujavam zbog ljudske gluposti.

    Miroslav Krleža

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