Punctuation in novels

Faulkner versus McCarthy

I found some beautiful posters that showed the punctation in different novels the other day. I was immediately curious if I could do something similar and wrote a little script (code here) to extract the punctation and print out a compressed representation of my favorite novels.

Then, like any proper scientist, I looked at the data and did some simple stats. Go see on Medium!

Here are a few of the (almost) full sets of punctuation from a couple of novels. For Pride And Prejudice, note the zoom-in versus the zoom-out:




Here are the files for Pride and Prejudice (alternate), A Doll’s House, and Romeo and Juliet.

Please let me know in the comments how totally I was wrong in my Medium analysis, and if there is anything you would like to see.

Update: Here a couple I thought were interesting. First, part of the Tractatus Logico Philosophicus:


And then Ulysses, the difference between the beginning of the book (first) and the end of the book (second):



Posted in Art

26 thoughts on “Punctuation in novels

  1. It gives me a great decorating idea! I’m sure it’s been done before, but this punctuation pattern will be excellent as wallpaper, or painted directly on walls. I prefer wallpaper though, the thought of hand painting commas and colons and such is exhausting me already! 🙂

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