George Meredith's writing is notorious for its "obscurity." This essay examines that obscurity through the punctuation that Meredith employed, in particular his use of ellipsis marks. Throughout his novelistic career Meredith attempted to capture the nebulousness of both thought and speech by means of a difficult and elliptical syntax and by using the punctuation of ellipsis: dashes and suspension points (though the latter are more commonly associated with later,modernist writers). This essay addresses Meredith's fascination with the unarticulated and inarticulate, as well as his attitudes toward transcription. His 1881 novel The Tragic Comedians is of particular importance in this analysis, as there he traced explicitly one of his character's "explorations in Dot-and-Dashland." The revisions that Meredith made to the manuscript of The Tragic Comedians underline his profound commitment to scrutiny and criticism of that which is obscure in our experiences and interactions, however his detractors used this against him.
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