after reading a recent thread on this topic (see here: What would you call the stylistic omission of punctuation?) I found that answers such as 'stream of consciousness' and 'run-on sentences' simply did not fit the examples which I had in mind. For instance, this quote from 'The Bell Jar' by Sylvia Plath:

'But each time I would get the cord so tight I could feel a rushing in my ears and a flush of blood in my face my hands would weaken and let go, and I would be all right again.'

Evidently, the lack of punctuation (up until the comma) is used to create a tone of panic, the comma acting as a breath to break up this building anxiety. However, is there a specific term for this? Or would I have to explain the sentence's construction clunkily in order for the point to come across?

Any opinions or answers would be much appreciated.

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    Sylvia was attempting to commit poetry. It’s really poor style. However, the best word to describe writing in that style is dramatic; you can add phrases like tension-building and breathy and dynamic until the cow come home, … – Will Crawford Mar 9 '18 at 5:52
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    … if you’re writing a review, use your own words but simply describing what she’s done and your impression of her purpose is probably more important than assigning a technical term to it. In other words, something along the lines of e.g. Plath’s choice to omit most punctuation in/from this sentence builds a sense of headlong flight and urgency, … etc. etc. – Will Crawford Mar 9 '18 at 5:54

Perhaps the figure of speech of polysyndeton or that of accumulation could provide a (partial) answer to your question. See, for example, Dante Alighieri:

"E mangia e beve e dorme e veste panni" (Inferno, Canto XXXIII)




(in verse) the continuation of a sentence without a pause beyond the end of a line, couplet, or stanza.

  • Reference is needed to substantiate such an answer. – Nigel J Apr 6 '18 at 13:40

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