Parenthetical Power

April 30, 2014

Parentheses aren’t just the mark of a lazy or verbose writer. They can also bracket personal pain in a narrative. At The New York Review of Books, Christopher Benfey explores the power of the parenthetical detail, such as Lolitas “My very photogenic mother died in a freak accident (picnic, lightning) when I was three.” Pair with: Vulture’sThe 5 Best Punctuation Marks in Literature.”

is an associate editor for The Millions and an editor in Atlanta. She tweets at @temalone.

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