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Annotated Ellipses: Revealing a hidden dot-to-dot game within a novelist’s eccentric punctuation

Donn Byrne riddled his novel The Wind Bloweth (1922) with ellipses.  For example, page 158 alone features no fewer than 27 of them.  The ellipses don’t merely omit superfluous words or mark pauses.  Far from it!  In an astonishing number of cases, the ellipses illustrate the narrative, inviting the reader to “connect the dots.” What follows is an illustrated celebration of Byrne’s eccentric use of ellipses.  Snippets of his text are here presented in a new order, to tell a story hidden within the ellipses.


“A delightful new book . . . In it, he takes a page from The Wind Bloweth, a ellipse-filled novel by Donn Byrne, and he explains the hidden story behind all those daffy dots.  It’s so creative, so funny, and so completely Craig, who also wrote a dictionary of one-letter words and a field guide to identifying unicorns by sound (really!).  We love it!”  Martha Brockenbrough, author of Things That Make Us [Sic]

“Fantastic.  Really lovely use and fragmentation/elaboration of the source text, something very allusively numinous and resonant.  The idea of what lies behind the ellipses . . . what has been left out, the ellipse as a hole/portal into another world, as . . .  a ‘mark of three,’ as three places in an alphabet of symbols/signs/sigils, is fantastic, and very evocative.”  Gary Barwin, author of Seeing Stars

“Very charming. . . . It’s visual theatre.”  Gordon Meyer, author of Smart Home Hacks

Copyright © 2020 Craig Conley