The Purpose of Punctuation

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Artist Nicholas Rougeux focuses on the punctuation of famous works by removing all of the letters in a text and arranging the punctuation in a spiral around a central image. Rougeux speaks on the purpose of his work:

Rougeux doesn’t have any bold claims for what his graphics reveal about literature, writing, “I’m not sure anything revolutionary is revealed.” But in the absence of what we most often focus on—the words—we’re able to see how different authors put punctuation to work in telling their stories, and how even such simple marks might ebb and flow over the course of a single narrative.


Olivia Wetzel is a student taking time off to live and work in San Francisco. If she could be any animal, she’d be a penguin. She’s never eaten pepperoni before, and one of her feet is a whole size bigger than the other. More from this author →