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Mark Z. Danielewski$
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Joe Bray and Alison Gibbons

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780719099335

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719099335.001.0001

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Reading the graphic surface of Mark Z. Danielewski’s The Fifty Year Sword

Reading the graphic surface of Mark Z. Danielewski’s The Fifty Year Sword

(p.105) 6 Reading the graphic surface of Mark Z. Danielewski’s The Fifty Year Sword
Mark Z. Danielewski

Glyn White

Manchester University Press

Glyn White focuses on Danielewski’s novella The Fifty Year Sword, exploring the ways in which typography and visual design are used to create a narrative that is intertextual and, above all, fragile. White has two central interests: the novella’s coloured quotation marks and polyvocal narration, and its unusual page design. He is especially concerned with how these formal and structural properties engender the reading experience. Through recourse to Derrida’s ideas on white space, or what he calls the ‘blank’ (blanc/blank), White claims that the graphic surface of The Fifty Year Sword is essentially disruptive. It is this disruption that makes the novella so fragile and endows it with what White calls ‘the texture of fabric(ation).’

Keywords:   Typography, Visual design, Quotation marks, Polyvocal narration, White space, Derrida, Texture

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