Why is punctuation so important in poetry

G magazine for. The poetry of punctuation. Studies in the style of punctuation. Edited by Alexander Nebrig Carlos Spoerhase


1 25 punctuation marks are constitutive of literature, modern writing would be inconceivable without them. Nevertheless, the characters that stand between the words play almost no role in literary practice. Apart from famous examples such as Heinrich von Kleist's dash in the Marquise of O ..., the virtuoso use of punctuation marks observed in great authors of German literature has so far not received adequate stylistic attention. This volume is about a literary and cultural history, but also a stylistic reconstruction of the diverse forms and functions of the use and perception of punctuation marks. The articles draft a differential description of the use of punctuation marks in reference texts from different literary epochs, currents and authors. The 16 original contributions are supplemented by three classic studies of punctuation stylistics by Theodor W. Adorno, Hans-Georg Gadamer and Jürgen Stenzel. ALEXANDER NEBRIG is a research fellow at the Institute for German Literature at the Humboldt University in Berlin; His main research interests are: German literature of the century, German and comparative literature, and literary rhetoric. CARLOS SPOERHASE is a research fellow at the Institute for German Literature at the Humboldt University in Berlin; His main research interests are: German literature from the 17th century to the present day, literary theory and the history of knowledge. A. Nebrig, C. Spoerhase (Ed.) The poetry of punctuation Edited by Alexander Nebrig Carlos Spoerhase The poetry of punctuation Studies on the style of punctuation ISBN Peter Lang Publications for the GZeitschrift für 25Germanistik

2 art of expression! Punctuation marks as indicators of the affect in odes and epistolary novels of the 18th century I. Outline: moon faces Script as it knows our everyday understanding is written language. Its signs are notations of sounds, made graphically visible and thus made durable, which are just waiting to be brought to life again through reading, in a process of reading that Hans Georg Gadamer re-creates speech in front of the inner ear of the reader 1 describes. Although this understanding of writing as a secondary fixation of something essentially acoustic has been exposed to fundamental media-theoretical, philosophical and literary criticism for years, 2 it is still widely used where literature and especially where poetry is used The negotiation is in progress. 3 And so it is not surprising that in the gravitational field of poetry and its analysis, punctuation marks in particular do not have an easy position and are not referred to by Gadamer alone to the place of what is declared secondary to poetry. 4 For anyone who has ever tried 1 Hans-Georg Gadamer: Poetry and Punctuation (1961). In: Ders .: Gesammelte Werke, Vol. 9: Aesthetics and Poetics II. Hermeneutics in Execution, Tübingen 1993, S, here p. 283 f. 2 Cf. for example the contributions in the volumes by Gernot Grube, Werner Kogge, Sybille Krämer (ed.): Scripture. Cultural technology between eye, hand and machine, Munich 2005; Susanne Strätling, Georg Witte (ed.): The visibility of writing, Munich 2006; Sybille Krämer, Eva Cançik-Kirschbaum, Rainer Totzke (eds.): Typeface. Perceptibility, materiality and operativity of notations, Berlin Cf. on this recently again programmatically: Reinhard Meyer-Kalkus: Voice and Speaking Arts in the 20th Century, Berlin 2001; Johann Nikolaus Schneider: Written in the ear. Poetry as acoustic art between 1750 and 1800, Göttingen 2004; Sandra Schwarz: Voices. Theories of lyrical speaking. In: H. V. Geppert (Ed.): Theories of Literature. Basics and Perspectives, Tübingen 2007, S Gadamer (see note 1), p. 283.

3 158 to make a comma sound when reading aloud, to tease the tone out of a semicolon or even to articulate a parenthesis line, 5 he has actually always suspected that writing is by no means so humble and modest in its role as a Tupperware box for the sound adds, which is so often ascribed to her in a more or less conscious follow-up of Plato 6. In fact, on closer inspection, the punctuation marks present themselves as highly rebellious marginalia which, in the form of unruly visual dots, lines and semicolons, stumble the widespread notion of writing as a sound made form. And the final collapse of this notion can now be observed more impressively than in oral lectures, in which it is important to put quotation marks to mark quotations as such. Here the articulation of the punctuation fails completely, so that the lecturers have to write the quotation marks in the air with a known helpless gesture in the absence of any acoustic realization of the quotes. Punctuation marks are a lasting reminder that writing has a medial stubbornness, which first of all becomes effective in the sphere of the visual, takes shape on the visible surface of the text in the truest sense of the word and, at best, is indirectly referred to the sound. Since, unlike letters, they cannot be verbalized, they have a name, but do not find their equivalent in any phonetic gesture, 8 the punctuation marks even seem to have a particularly pronounced aspect of form. Because together with the space 9, the punctuation structures the visual impression of the text. 5 For the non-verbalization of punctuation marks, see Ursula Bredel: Interpunktion, Heidelberg 2011, pp. 7 f. 6 Plato: Phaidros. In: Ders .: All dialogues, ed. v. Otto Apelt, Vol. II, Hamburg 1988, p (Chapter LVIII LXIII). 7 For the history of the designation of this punctuation mark, which in German has a clear tendency towards the zoological, see Joachim Grzega: Von Klammeraffen und Gänsefüßchen. Culture and cognition as reflected in punctuation marks and special characters. In: Onomasiology Online 8 (2007), p. 1 16, esp. S The well-known and apparently authorless riddle poem plays with this fact, which requires the reader to articulate the names of the punctuation marks in order to realize the rhyme, and to do so very freely Herodotus reads: O Solon Solon Solon / Spoke Croesus; / Won't you shake hands with me / Solon Solon? / No sir / No sir, I don't want that (quoted here from: NOM DE NET: Politics, Poetry and Punctuation. In: ZEIT ONLINE, readers' article blog,, clock. 9 Cf. in detail Thomas Fries: Die Leerstelle. In: C. Abbt, T. Kammasch (Ed.): Point, point, comma, line? Gesture, shape and meaning of philosophical punctuation, Bielefeld 2009, p

4 art of expression! Punctuation marks as indications of the subject in the Ode and Epistle novel 159 arrangements on the page are already decisive before the beginning of the reading, and their characters, above all dashes and exclamation marks, which visibly cut the line of text horizontally or vertically, catch the eye of the viewer of the page. The knowledge of the eminent shape of the punctuation marks is ultimately part of a wealth of experience that most people, at least in the German-speaking world, have acquired long before they were literate, namely through teaching the well-known nursery rhyme: point, point, comma, line, the moon face 10 is ready and his no less well-known art education practice. The fact that four punctuation marks, arranged on a surface, can result in the image of a face, the perceptibility of which lies far beyond the readability of the viewer and even further beyond the sound of the characters used, is part of the preschool experience of German users of type and has more recently been digital Communication has been significantly updated and popularized. In terms of production aesthetics, the moon faces of mail, SMS, Twitter or chat traffic appear almost puritanical, as they initially only consist of punctuation marks in combinations such as :-) or :-( and do not come without a framing circle when entering the keyboard but now even without a nose. But thanks to the brilliant intelligence of the common word processing programs and their imaging processes, the inverted semicolon faces are freed from their typographical misalignment during the writing process and transformed into cute smilies, hardly one has set the subsequent space. As is well known, these are called in the meantime they themselves have conventionalized typographical and communication-pragmatic punctuation mark combinations emoticons. 11 As the connection of the semantics of emotion and icon in their name suggests, they put emotions into the picture. They are therefore used by people who contact themselves or your e-mail, SMS or chat Not trusting a partner, under a more or less rigid dictation of the brevity of the message with the means of the written language anger, 10 Cf. Hans Witzig: period, point, comma, line. The drawing lesson for children, Munich 2007 (). 11 On the aesthetic dimension of the emoticons see Karin Niedermeier: Emoticons. Cult communication without words, Mainz 2001; on the current use and distribution of emoticons see Carmen Frehner:, SMS, MMS. The Linguistic Creativity of Asynchronous Discourse in the New Media Age, Berlin et al. 2008, esp. S; on the evidence or need for interpretation of emoticons see Martin Städeli: acquittal on probation. The case of the emoticons. In: P. Michel (Ed.): Unmitte (i) lbarkeit. Design and readability of emotions, Zurich 2005, p

5 160 To mark or recognize joy, disappointment or even something as complex as wit and irony in their expressions. It would be anything but uninteresting to ask what the relationship between this tendency towards iconization of punctuation marks in today's use of writing and a possible infantilization of the current culture of communication and where the enormous trust of large parts of the population in the ability of moon faces to express their own states of mind comes from. To pursue these questions further, a contribution to the poetics of punctuation marks is neither the right place, nor literature is the competent discipline. In a certain sense, however, emoticons will actually be at the center of the following considerations, emoticons of the 18th century in the form of punctuation marks, which more precisely: in which the states of mind and affects of the writer are expressed. Only this expression of feeling does not take the form of an icon in the sense of the image as in the case of the moon faces, but as an on-sign, as a symptom, semiotically speaking: as an index. 12 The focus of attention should therefore be on varieties of a poetics of punctuation that, formulated abstractly as well as paradoxically in the highly conventionalized and eminently written medium of punctuation, generate natural signs of mental states and thus the heuristic thesis both a specific generic and a special one Bear the epoch signature. II. Punctuation mark inflation The starting point of my considerations is the observation of a true punctuation mark boom in the literature of the 18th century, especially the dash and the exclamation mark. Research on the Books Ngram Viewer of a well-known Internet service provider shows that the use of both punctuation marks experienced an unprecedented increase around 1750, and in the case of the exclamation mark even an explosive increase, followed by an equally significant drop in the last third I first follow the terminology of Charles S. Peirce (Phenomenon and Logic of Signs, Frankfurt a. M, S). A more detailed discussion and definition of the indexical follows below. 13 The following statements all refer to the results of the book Ngram Viwer from google labs: <& year_start = 1600 & year_end = 2000 & corpus = 8 & smoothing = 3>; last:

6 art of expression! Punctuation marks as indications of the subject in Ode and Epistle Novel 161 of the century. The maximum values ​​of the signum exclamandi 14, one of the contemporary alternative designations of the call sign, are surpassed by a further jump in quantity around 1800, which is followed by an equally abrupt decline that continues to this day, while the high distribution density of the dash in 1740 did not return until the 1960s has been achieved and has been rising steadily since then. However, the miraculous increase in these two punctuation marks is not evenly distributed among the various literary genres of the 18th century. The moral or oriental narrative, which is particularly popular in the Enlightenment literature, seems to remain largely unaffected by it, 15 and the no less prominent teaching dialogue is apparently also content with the most orthographically necessary items. 16 But even with a cursory review of any bourgeois tragedy, the accumulation of exclamation marks and dashes jumps straight to the eye, which, as in some passages of Lessing's tragedy, tend to cluster and dominate the typeface of almost every page of the book. If one follows Martina Michelsen, 17 then the dash as a punctuation mark is ultimately an invention of dramatic literature: It began in the work of Ben Jonson around 1600, immigrated to Germany via the Baroque drama in the second half of the 17th century and arrived in the enlightened-sensitive literature of the 18th century then for the aforementioned unprecedented dissemination. Johann Christoph Adelung, in his Complete Instructions on German Orthography of 1812, in which he already refers to the English import character of this punctuation mark, 18 uses only dramatic texts from the 18th century as an example of the correct use of the dash 14 Grzega (such as Note 7), S cf. on this genus Gunhild Berg: Narrated human knowledge. Moral narratives and behavioral writings of the German-speaking late Enlightenment, Tübingen cf. differentiated Anja Oesterhelt: Poetics of Dialogue as a Project of Enlightenment. Functions of the dialogue in theoretical writings Christoph Martin Wieland and Johann Jakob Engels. In: M. Gymnich, A. Nünning (Ed.): Functions of literature. Theoretical foundations and model interpretations, Trier 2005, S Martina Michelsen: Away from the word to the dash. On the stylistic function of a punctuation mark in English literature of the 17th and 18th centuries, Munich 1993; this .: The invention of the dash in the English drama about In: J. Rönneper (Ed.): Dash. Poems, Pictures, Essays, Giessen 1992, S Johann Christoph Adelung: Complete instructions for German orthography, together with a small dictionary for pronunciation, orthography, bending and derivation, Leipzig 1812, p. 388.

7 162 approach. Lessing's Miss Sara Sampson, his Philotas and Emilia Galotti, 19 from their sixth appearance of the III. Akts Adelung quotes the following statements by Marinelli, which suggest the inflation of the dash during this period: Let us see! Don't let her in when she knows the daughter is here? That will not do. Of course, she'll be amazed when she sees the wolf by the sheep. Eyes? That still wants to be. But heaven be gracious to our ears! Well what The best lungs are exhausted, etc. 20 Now, however, the media status of writing, and thus also the status of the punctuation marks, is a tricky one in dramatic texts, as the book pages of the pieces are actually or virtually designed for a performance, so they function as a media transformer with the goal of to make one's own writing character disappear, to dissolve it to stage performance or even to control the latter dramaturgically through punctuation. 21 For such a dramaturgical use, the dash is suitable as a sign of omission, break-off or a longer pause, as Adelung describes it, 22 of course particularly well and thus moves functionally close to the stage direction within a drama, whose written and textual character shimmers in a similar way to that of the dramatic punctuation. 23 Considered in the light of the scene instructions, the fact that such a use of punctuation in the drama categorically uncouples the punctuation marks as punctuation marks from the utterance subjects of the dramatis personae becomes clear, and this will be of importance to the author of the play in the following who operates with them dramatically. To illuminate the relationship between punctuation and stage directions in the sign of their textual secondary space and performance-relatedness in terms of drama history, text theory and semiotic would be the subject of a separate contribution. For the present, I will exclude dramatic texts from my subject area for the time being and concentrate on punctuation marks in literary genres. In English literature, too, a significant increase in the number of dashes can be recorded in the domestic drama of the 18th century. On George Lillo's The London Merchant, which, although not an extensive piece, has a total of 531 dashes, see Michelsen: Weg vom Wort (see note 17), S Adelung (see note 18), p. 389 (Edited i. O. ). 21 Cf. again Michelsen: Weg vom Wort (as note 17), S Adelung (as note 18), S Cf. fundamentally Anke Detken: In the side room of the text. Director's remarks in dramas of the 18th century, Tübingen 2009.

8 art of expression! Punctuation marks as indications of the subject in Ode and Epistle novels 163 from the 18thCentury, whose poetically calculated use was exclusively a reader, who found their primary medium in writing and generated orality and sound effects solely from the written text or in tension with it. The origin of the dash from the dramatic literature, the theatrical-performative signature of which has been continued in the dramatic exempla of Adelung's orthography theory, will nevertheless have to be kept in mind as a possible cultural or usage-historical coding of this punctuation mark, if the analytical attention now to be directed to two other genres that were fully captured by the punctuation explosion of the 18th century mentioned at the beginning. We are talking about the epistle novel and the poetry of the enlightened, sensitive epoch, which have a concentration of punctuation marks that is quite comparable to the tragedy. In addition to the dash, the exclamation mark is particularly prominent. Against the background of what has been said so far, a closer look at exemplary texts of these two genres promises further insights into the conditions and possibilities of a poetics of punctuation marks, because epistolary novels and poetry seem to be antipodes in terms of media poetry. While the lyrical poem was already understood in the Baroque poetry, admittedly not yet defined as an independent genre, through its ability to sing and thus primarily as oral poetry, which remained poetologically effective through the 18th century, 24 research on the epistolary novel has one thing The main reason for its unprecedented success between 1740 and 1790 was identified in the fact that the fictional medium of the letter and the factual medium of the book coincide in their genuine written form and become indistinguishable in the act of reading. 25 If the punctuation mark inflation of the 18th century manifests itself to a comparable extent in a paradigmatic oral as well as a paradigmatic written genre of the epoch, then this suggests that the special function of punctuation is on a different level than that of the media in the narrower sense lies. Around this level, which I have to 24 Cf. to summarize Dieter Burdorf: Lyrik. In: F. Jäger (Ed.): Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit, Vol. 7, Stuttgart, Weimar 2008, Sp. See Anette C. Anton: Authenticity as fiction. Letter culture in the 18th and 19th centuries, Stuttgart, Weimar 1995; Anselm Haverkamp: Illusion and Empathy. The structure of the participant reading in Werther's suffering. In: E. Lämmert (Ed.): Erzählforschung, Stuttgart 1982, S, esp. P. 253; Barbara Vinken: Inescapable curiosity. The worldly dilapidation of the novel. Richardsons Clarissa and Laclos Liaisons Dangereuses, Freiburg i. Br. 1991, especially p. 205 f.

9 164 wants to sound out ristic the poetic, let us take a closer look at a first prominent example that shows the increase in punctuation marks just as impressively as it contains initial indications of their specific economy. III. Scheuchzeichen des Gemüts: Maylied Among the Sesenheimer Lieder, Goethe's Mayfest 26, composed in 1771 and published four years later, is not only the most famous, but also of some significance in terms of punctuation marks, which is particularly evident when comparing the versions. After all, the first version of the 36 iambic two-lifter verses of the song already contains nine exclamation marks, three of which are in the opening stanza alone. As the further processing history of the poem makes unmistakably clear, this abundance is by no means the orthographic precipitate of a young literary exuberance. Because when Goethe republished the revised text in 1789 under the title Maylied as part of his writings, the number of exclamation marks had grown to 14 and shows a clear tendency towards condensation in a few places in their distribution over the text. Mayfest (1775) 27 How wonderfully nature shines for me! How shines the sun! How laughs the hallway! Blossoms spring 5 from every branch, and a thousand voices from the bushes, and joy and bliss from every breast. 10 O earth o sun O happiness o lust! Maylied (1789) 28 How wonderfully nature shines for me! How shines the sun! How laughs the hallway! Blossoms spring from every branch, and a thousand voices from the bushes, and joy and bliss from every breast. O earth! o sun! O happiness! o lust! 26 First print in Johann Georg Jacobis Iris (1775), Vol. 2, 1st item; cf. the commentary in: Johann Wolfgang Goethe: Complete Works, Letters, Diaries and Conversations, ed. v. F. Apel et al., Vol. 1, ed. v. K. Eibl., Frankfurt a. M. 1987, p. 839 f. (Henceforth quoted: FA). 27 FA 1, p. 129 f. 28 Ibid, p. 287 f.

10 art of expression! Punctuation marks as indications of the subject in the Ode and Epistle novel 165 O love o love, so golden-beautiful, like morning clouds 15 On his heights; You see gloriously The fresh field, In the bloom vapor the full world. 20 [] O dear! O love! As golden and beautiful as morning clouds on that hill! You gloriously bless The fresh field, In the steam of flowers the full world. [] The third and fourth song stanzas, which contain only one exclamation mark in the first version, are enriched with six additional ones in the second, which gives the first half of the poem quoted here a remarkable dynamic: Goethe pulls the exclamation marks that are still alone in the first stanza Emphasize the mailings and emphasize their natural lyric topoi nature, sun and corridor from the text (VV. 2 4), now at the end of the third stanza into the previously punctuation-free middle of the verse and leaves it as a visual correlate to the interactive salutations O Erd ( V. 11) O Glück (V. 12) and O Lieb (V. 13) also optically interrupt the lines. This threefold caesura, which is particularly noticeable due to the brevity of the verses, in combination with the exhibited maximum of six exclamation marks after six consecutive nouns, produces the effect of an eruption of the lyrical utterance that is already clearly marked in the typeface. Its orthographic surge amplitude visibly reaches its peak here, then slowly decreases in the following three verses, becomes the Höhn flanked by a final exclamation mark! (V. 16) then again called echo-like and stopped at the same time. Compared to the first version, which punctuates much more cautiously and syntactically bridges the transition from the fourth to the fifth stanza with a semicolon, so that the sentence arc of v. 11 only with the full [n] world. (V. 20) ends, the punctuation mark dramaturgy of the second version apparently systematically aims at the evocation of breaks and a strong amplitude swing: The replacement of the semicolon by an exclamation mark in v. 16 ties the Höhn back to the sixfold interjection (VV) and separates the entire exclamatory complex is noticeably different from the fifth stanza, which remains closed in its orthographic calm and its contemplative gesture and forms a clear contrast to the previous furor. With this conclusion of the fifth stanza, which at the same time serves as an axis of symmetry or, more precisely: as the torque of the nine-stanza song, the personal dignity of the initial Du blessing (v. 17) begins to shimmer, which in the first version still relies on the in

11 166 the love addressed in the previous stanza, but now oscillates in its reference and following the example of Klopstock, of which we will speak later, a salutation from God also moves into the realm of the possible. The few changes 29, according to the current and any further explanation as superfluous in the relevant commentaries, with which Goethe rewrote his Mayfest as a Maylied, may only include dots and lines, but their poetic effect is evidently anything but marginal . This is especially true in view of the special punctuation mark with which the poet primarily works and which undergoes a significant functional change in the 18th century, which is already indicated in the history of its name: In contrast to the orthographic terminology of the 17th century, the exclamation mark primarily named after the illocutive or perlocutive role of the respective utterance as a wish sign, encouragement sign, silence sign, incitement sign or particularly nicely named as a scare sign 30 and thus focused the action dimension of the correspondingly marked phrase, the term that is still familiar to us prevails in the 18th century, which focuses on a completely different dimension. With it, the mode of utterance is now primarily set, with complete disregard of the linguistic act undertaken, the written thus referring to the manner of its articulation and motivating the punctuation from it: Whatever is or could be exclaimed contains the corresponding sign as Marker. In his treatment of punctuation, Adelung also starts with the changes in the voice, which are noticeable in the oral expression, 31 and assigns the punctuation marks the task of pre-grinding this tone to the eye in the absence of a living voice 32. In his treatment of the exclamation mark, however, he undertakes another, no less categorical, transformation of this sound-related punctuation order. For unlike the final punctuation, colon, semicolon, comma, parenthesis and dash, which are negotiated as distinguishing signs in his German orthography, 33 Ade- 29 Cf. MA I.1, p. 836; HA I.1, p. 425 f. 30 Cf. Ernst Readers: Technical words on German grammar from Schottel to Gottsched In: Zeitschrift für deutsche Wortforschung 15 (1914), p. 1 98, here p. 40, summarized by Grzega (like Note 7), S Adelung (as note 18), S ibid., S ibid., P. 371 f.

12 art of expression! Punctuation marks as indications of the subject in the ode and epistle novel 167 for the exclamation mark together with the question mark a separate rubric, which he overwrites with symbols of the mood. While the question mark unsurprisingly marks the mood of the question, the exclamation mark indicates the mood of the lively affect and is always set when this affect has the degree of strength which is expressed by the exclamation. 35 The reflexive turn of the expressing affect indicates the fundamental shift in categories that Adelung undertakes in his treatment of the exclamation mark and thus makes my thesis transparent in terms of its implicit basic assumptions and at the same time a poetic practice of the use of punctuation marks that has been common for half a century stipulates normatively. Following its double semiotic conceptualization, the exclamation mark initially functions as a visual sign of a certain tone, in its diction: as onomatopoeia. In a second and decisive step, this painted sound then itself becomes a sign, more precisely: a sign of the speaker's affects, which, conversely, determine his utterance as the reason for them. Adelung declares the visible shape of the exclamation mark to be the visual analogue of a virtual tone, which in turn indexically indicates an affect that is not perceptible to the speaker because it is internal, and which thus not only becomes and conveys the actual signified, but even the cause of the entire semiotic chain is ultimately not expressed via the relay of the inarticulate exclamation in the exclamation mark, but expresses itself. In Rudi Keller's terminology, Adelung assigns the exclamation mark the quality of a symptom, a sign whose meaning is determined by a causal inference, in this case by establishing a cause-effect relationship 37 between affect and expression. And it is precisely this operation. 34 Ibid., P. 363 f. 35 Ibid., S Ib., S Rudi Keller: Character theory, Tübingen, Basel 1995, S Keller not only replaces Peirce's index with his concept of symptoms, but reformulates it entire semiotics by applying it in terms of use theory. Based on a fundamental asymmetry between communicating and interpreting, i.e. the insight that not everything that can be interpreted and what is actually interpreted [must have] actually been communicated (p. 107), Keller distinguishes (p. 113 f. ) the three types of characters symbol, icon and symptom exclusively on the basis of the different modes of interpretation that were created for their decoding and the systematic relationships that are updated: By focusing on similarities, we interpret a sign as an icon, we mobilize rule-based relationships, the sign becomes to the symbol if

13 168 of the causal inference and not the affiliation of the sign to the realm of natural phenomena, which makes symptoms understood in this way appear as natural signs. 38 One can justifiably read Adelung's semiotics of the exclamation mark as an attempt to drive out its arbitrariness from this punctuation mark, together with its written form, by inverting the evident muteness of the dot line into the image of a call which, moreover, comes directly from the affect of the writer now figured as the speaker emerges. But as adventurous as this undertaking may appear on a systematic level, it faithfully explicates the aesthetic effects of the expressive art of the 18th century, 39 which, as I will show below, was not only influenced by a sophisticated punctuation dramaturgy, but also a large part of it owes poetic evidence. IV. Furor of punctuation: Werther As already indicated, the poetics of punctuation marks in literary texts of the 18th century are clearly genre-dependent, with Adelung's remarks on the signs of the mood contain a decisive hint when he holds on to exclamation and question marks: Both differ very noticeably in the lively voice from the calm narrative or instructive tone. 40 The fact that this difference is actually a categorical one is illustrated by a comparative look at the double beginning of Goethe's Die Leiden des Junge Werther, as soon as the beginning of the editor's preface and the beginning of Werther's first letter are juxtaposed: causal connections are brought up to become a symptom . The peculiarity of the symptom, however, consists in the fact that, in contrast to symbols or icons, it is only valid as such if it was not produced for the purpose of signification and in this sense has no transmitter (p. 123). 38 Ibid., S The history of the understanding of symptoms or indices as signs, which are themselves natural phenomena or are based on a physical (kali) connection between the signified and the signifier, is long and shapes semiotic theory formation to this day. See the chapter on Index, Signs, Symptom, Signal and Natural Sign. In: W. Nöth: Handbuch der Semiotik, 2., completely revised. and exp. Aufl, Stuttgart, Weimar 2000, S cf. still fundamentally Karl S. Guthke: The discovery of the self in poetry. From imitation to expression of affects. In: W. Barner (Ed.): Tradition, Norm, Innovation. Social and literary tradition in the early days of the German Enlightenment, Munich 1989, S Adelung (see note 18), p. 364.

14 art of expression! Punctuation marks as indications of the subject in Ode and Epistle novel 169 Fig. 1: Johann Wolfgang Goethe: The sufferings of young Werther. Facsimile print of the first edition of While the punctuation of the editor's speech (see Fig. 1) is limited to the syntactically necessary points and commas and with its two long sentences generates a typeface whose steady flow matches the calm narrative or instructive tone of the explanations

15 170 corresponds, Werther's first letter presents itself at first glance as an orthographic eruption (see Fig. 2): Fig. 2: Johann Wolfgang Goethe: The Sorrows of Young Werther. Facsimile print of the first edition from 1774.

16 art of expression! Punctuation marks as indicators of the subject in the Ode and Epistle novel 171 A single point, two question marks and six exclamation marks conclude the nine short sentences, which are optically tightly joined together due to the dominance of the vertical incisions, the last of which is also interrupted by a long dash, and leave the eye of the viewer know even before starting to read that nothing less prevails in this text than calm and moderation. A closer look at the relation of the punctuation marks to syntax 41 leaves no doubt that this punctuation strategy does not follow the laws of sentence economy, but is superfluous in every respect, and the restless text shape is closely related to a structural disorder of the sentences: it is teeming with people of ellipses, aposiopeses and exclamations, whereby the omitted parts of sentences, sentences and text parts seem to be swallowed up by the exclamation marks, which operate here as black holes of text semantics and in their place put the emphasis: To leave you, whom I love so much I was inseparable and happy to be! In this exclamation mark, the third in a row, an entire main sentence disappears, the crash of which into the semicolon seems all the more dramatic as a possible resolution of the previously formulated paradox is swallowed together with it, so that the forgiveness anticipated in the next sentence I know you will forgive me s. only seems all the more groundless.This is followed by a rhetorical and syntactically appropriately disciplined question, the answer to which reads like an affective compensation of the previous order: Were not my other connections chosen by fate to frighten a heart like mine? Poor Leonore! Again, the ellipse and the exclamation mark fall into one, and again parts of the sentence are eliminated, the deletion of which now goes so far that only the subject remains: a woman who is also conceivably poor in syntactic terms in an information vacuum, whose emptiness from the subsequent one, once more flanked by an exclamation mark, sentence fragment And yet I was innocent! is increased rather than decreased. In addition, emphasized by the printed image of the text, which has a clear space after the end of each sentence, which makes the punctuation particularly obvious, Goethe's signs of the mood are on the one hand a sign of the affect that is communicated through them before the letter is read and thus on this side of the semantics 41 Jürgen Stenzel concentrated on dashes in his investigation of Werther and worked out their central importance for the aesthetics of the text. See Jürgen Stenzel: Punctuation. Style studies on German prose poetry, Göttingen 1966, p

17 172 appear on the syntactic level as agents of the same affect and cut off clauses and passages that are essential for understanding. The result is a visibly fragmented syntax, combined with no less noticeable jumps in thought, which make the subject of the speech so difficult to understand that the reader's attention is drawn back to the form and mode as the only levels of the text where evidence is actually to be found. For here the signs condense to the essential certainty that this writer is in an uproar and that affect is his pen. This sure knowledge of some kind of furor inside Werther is, mind you, not generated by its propositional content when reading the first lines. How glad I am to be gone! is everything that the writer communicates about his inner life in the strict sense of the word, and it is also a highly misleading message, since it implies relief, possibly even serenity, but by no means confusion or excitement or furore and thus all that we derive from the form and mode of Read out text immediately; in a specific diagnostic procedure. In fact, seduces, or more precisely: does this text compel its readers from the beginning to use a diagnostic reading technique, to speak with Keller: to a symptomatic reading technique, whereby it is far less important to pay attention to what the writer wants to communicate than to what is different through the type and Communicates or expresses the manner of writing about its author and his state of mind. And it is precisely in this mode of observation that the punctuation marks present themselves as double symptoms: as immediately striking signs of a fragmented text and as an effect of an affective writing style that generates a messy syntax. As Jürgen Stenzel has shown, Goethe also uses the dash for this purpose, 42 the shape of which is just as obvious in the line as the exclamation mark and which, contrary to Adelung's categorization as a pure distinctive mark, is also used as a symbol of the mood. Goethe by no means invented this punctuation strategy, but faithfully follows the practice of Samuel Richardson, who uses this punctuation mark in his Pamela and Clarissa as a genre-constitutive feature of the sensitive 42 Stenzel's interpretive cabinet piece, based on Werther's performative-propositional admission to his own punctuation in letter v [1772 ], which says: If I just see her black eyes, I'll be fine! Look, and what annoys me is that Albert doesn't seem to be as happy as he hoped I was when I thought I was when I don't like to make dashes, but here I can't express myself differently and I think myself clear enough. Johann Wolfgang Goethe: The sufferings of the young Werther. In: Ders .: Complete Works, ed. v. K. Richter, Vol. 1.2, ed. v. Gerhard Sauder, Munich 1987, p. 207 (henceforth quoted: MA). For details, see Stenzel (see note 41), p. 40 f.

18 art of expression! Had established punctuation marks as indications of the subject in Ode and Epistle novel 173 epistolary novels. 43 Werther's famous letter dated June 16 once again impressively illustrates the categorical difference between the punctuation-supported writing mode of affect and that of narration, whereby Werther not only rejects the latter programmatically, but also implements this rejection in terms of punctuation strategies. After meeting Lotte for the first time, Werther starts writing a letter whose dominant elliptic is indicated by exclamation marks and dashes: You should guess that I am well, in short, I have made an acquaintance that concerns my heart more closely . I have i don't know. 44 And as the punctuation mark performance actually already suggests, the next sentence says again in an explanatory manner: To tell you in order how it happened that I got to know one of the most lovable creatures will be more difficult, I'm jolly and happy, and so not a good historian. 45 The matter-of-factness with which pleasure and happiness are cited as impossibilities of proper narration and the historians of professional depression are drawn, gains final evidence in the appropriately punctuated interjections, ellipses and aposiopeses of the following passage: An angel! Pfuy! everyone says that about his own! Not true? And yet I am unable to tell you how it is perfect, why it is perfect, enough, it has captured all of my mind. So much insight with so much understanding, so much goodness with so much firmness, and the calmness of the soul with true life and activity. It's all nasty stuff I say about her, tiresome abstractions that don't express a trait of herself. Another time no, not another time, right now I want to tell you about it. 46 The less Werther is able to express von Lotte's characteristics, the more eloquent is the testimony that the form and structure of the text bear to the fact that this woman has actually captured a meaning, and the clearer the storytelling and Art of expression apart: the former describes characters, the latter testifies seismographically to their affects. This is exactly where Christian Fürchtegott Gellert takes off when he asks rhetorically in his Practical Treatise on Good Taste in Letters (1751): Who is [] a faithful 43 On the poetics of the dash in Richardson's Clarissa cf. Michelsen: Weg vom Wort ( as note 17), S MA 1.2, S ibid. 46 Ibid.

19 174 more traitor than a letter? 47 For anyone who has mastered the diagnostic reading technique, in the 18th century, the punctuation and syntax of the letter (roman) very faithfully betrayed the state of the mind of the author, but only if the surface of the text is kept open to allow the flowing emotions to precipitate. In an extension of Werther's program, this means, conversely, that literature in which affects are expressed is eo ipso disorderly literature. V. Disordered literature: the presence of the absent It is precisely this category of disorder that was explicitly included in the catalog of demands in two genre-historically decisive places in the middle of the 18th century, along with practical advice on how such a disorder could be produced literarily. Gellert's dictum about the treacherous letter comes from his treatises on the writing of natural letters, the artlessness of which is, of course, negotiated as the result of a poetic calculation. In order to achieve this natural effect, Gellert says it is important to follow a few simple rules. One of these rules consists in renouncing what the author calls connecting words: Do the traditional connecting words, Gellert asks rhetorically, make you: da, if then, as, wannhero, etc., which always have their assigned place, do not make you feel sad when you she has to read often? 48 The writer of a natural letter should, as the letter writer demands, avoid conjunctions as much as possible, temporal as well as causal. As already seen, Werther adhered strictly to this rule. His sentences get along almost completely without conjunctions, in their place are those punctuation marks that immediately catch the eye at the first glance. The real poetic point of the genre, however, is that the renunciation of conjunctions is a rule that the 18th century prominently formulated for a completely different genre, which, according to Klopstock, is the central literary medium of expressive art a practical treatise on good taste in letters. In: Ders .: Collected writings. Critical, annotated edition, ed. v. B. Witte, Vol. 4: Roman, letter holder, Berlin, New York 1989, S Christian Fürchtegott Gellert: Thoughts of a good German letter to which Mr. F. H. v. W. In: Ibid., P. 100.

20 art of expression! Punctuation marks as indicators of the subject should advance in Ode and Epistle novel 175. We're talking about the ode. 49 From Gottsched 50 to Mendelssohn 51 the doctrine can be followed that connective words have no place in the ode, and that their absence is one of the essential means of generating what Nicolas Boileau, to whom all these authors refer, as beau désordre, described as the beautiful disorder of this lyrical genre and Herder translated it into the paradox of the logic of affect. For example, Boileau says: Son stile impetueux souvent marche au hazard; / Chez elle un beau desordre est un effet de l Art. 53 To illustrate this effect and the function of the punctuation marks for its creation, let us take a closer look at an ode by Klopstock thrown, whose poetry was traded as paradigmatic for the beau désordre in the 18th century. 54 The following poem from 1753 originally had the title An Cidli 55, used by the poet in his early work for various texts, and has been titled Presence of the Absent since the work was published in 1798. 56 Presence of the absent The pain of love, not of the awaiting unloved, the pain not, For I love, nobody loved like that! so i am loved! The gentler pains, which look to see you again, which take a deep breath to see you again, but stammering joy lisps up too! 49 See as before Karl Viëtor: History of the German Ode, Darmstadt 1961, S Johann Christoph Gottsched: From the poetic imitations. In: Ders .: Attempt at critical poetry before the Germans, 4th, presumably ed., Leipzig 1751 (Nachdr. Darmstadt), S Moses Mendelssohn: Thoughts of the essence of the ode. In: F. Niolai, G. E. Lessing, M. Mendelssohn: Briefe the newest literature, Vol. 3, Berlin 1764 (Neudr. Hildesheim 1974), S Johann Gottfried Herder: Von der Ode . In: Ders .: Works in 10 Vols., Vol. 1: Early writings, ed. v. U. Gaier, Frankfurt a. M. 1985, S, here S Nicolas Boileau-Despréaux: Discours sur l ode. In: Ders .: Odes. Poésies diverse, ed. v. Charles-H. Budhors, Paris 1960, p. 13; ders .: L Art poétique / Die Dichtkunst, ed. v. R. Schober, Halle 1968, p. 33 (VV. 71 f.). 54 See Viëtor (see note 49). 55 As in the Oden edition by Göschen: Oden by Klopstock. Eighth edition, Leipzig 1787, S Klopstock's works, vol. 1: Oden, Leipzig 1798, p. 126 f.

21 176 I want to sing the pain. I already heard the tears of farewell on the rose bush 10 weeping! weep the voice of tears down the strings! But I quickly forbade my too quiet ear to listen back! the tenacious fell silent, and already the strings had stopped singing lament! Because oh, I saw you! drank the oblivion of the sweet delusion with fiery thirst! Cidli, I see you, beloved! yourself! 20 How did you stand before me, Cidli, how my heart clung to your heart, beloved ones, Than lovers love! O whom I sought and found! 57 As in Goethe's Maylied, the punctuation is immediately significant: 13 exclamation marks catch the eye, are outweighed by 14 commas in an economy of equilibrium, which will be discussed later, and the whole thing is balanced on a single point (v.9 ). This point has been pushed back beyond the caesura in verse, which is also visually marked in the first and last two stanzas by a punctuation mark, and is lost in the typesetting of the edition by Gronemeyer and Hurlebusch as well as in their quotation above. All previous editions, on the other hand, have highlighted the point with a particularly wide space afterwards, and not without reason. 58 For, as the reading of the first three stanzas quickly makes clear, this punctuation mark actually forms the decisive, because it constitutes syntax and meaning, an oasis of calm in the cascades of the language segments of the poem: this goes beyond the first nine verses 57 Friedrich Gottlieb Klopstock: Presence of the Absent. In: Ders: Works and Letters. Historical-critical edition, works 1: Oden, vol. 1: text, ed. v. H. Gronemeyer, K. Hurlebusch, Berlin, New York 2010, S For example in the editions: Oden, Hamburg 1771, p. 167 f .; Klopstock's works, vol. 5: Oden, Troppa 1786, p. 174 f .; Odes by Klopstock. Aechte Ausgabe, Leipzig 1787, p. 128; Klopstock's Oden, Vol. 1, Leipzig 1798, p. 126 f .; G. F. Klopstock's Oden, Vol. 1, Vienna 1816, pp. 149 f .; Klopstock's complete works, vol. 1: Oden, Leipzig 1823, p. 115 f .; Klopstock s works. Edition revised from the best sources, Part Five: Oden Epigramme, ed. and accompanied by a note v. R. Boxberger, Berlin 1878, pp. 149 f .; Klopstock's Works, Part Three: Odes, Epigrams and Spiritual Songs, ed. v. R. Hamel, Berlin, Stuttgart 1883, p. 97; Klopstock's collected works in four volumes. With an introduction v. F. Muncker, Vol. 3: Oden and sacred songs in selection, Stuttgart 1885, p. 73; Oden, Vol. 1, Leipzig 1913, p. 153 f.