Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Diple & Tittle

Here is a book you will like:  Shady Characters: The Secret Life of Punctuation, Symbols, & Other Typographical Marks. by Keith Houston.  He minds a blog of his own;  Shady Characters.  To purchase a copy of his book, try this site.  The chapter on the Ampersand alone is illuminating & inspirational, and you will meet other interesting characters as well, such as the Interrobang and the Octothorpe.  It has me contemplating all kinds of punctuation portmanteaux ideas:  A drawing composed of pilcrows, a sculpture covered with asterisks.

Mr. Houston also gives several interesting websites and titles as "Further Reading."  There is the inspiring Digital Scriptorium, and the charming Manicule Pool.  Have a look at this wonderful image from the Digital Scriptorium.

There is another kind of shady character that we might consider:  The shady character that appears in the detective and/or mystery novel.  To contemplate this character, there is a bit of advice for writing, from the great Raymond Chandler.  I hope everyone will read it, and read it right here.  May I also offer you a little theme music* for shady characters?

*  I adored this television show, and of course, I read scads of the Ellery Queen books as well- they would fall very heavily and with a loud and musical thud into the category of detective fiction that Mr. Chandler criticizes so eloquently and completely in his essay.