Geoffrey Nunberg (somewhere) makes the point that parentheses and quotations follow similar typog
I began this as a reply to Timothy Morton's extremely helpful comment on entropy in letters and words (following Shannon, whom I've used elsewhere in discussing the editing of Shakespeare). In fact all the comments were wonderful, so let me say thanks. Thanks!
There once was a man from Nantucket
Whose life was a sham. It was muck. It
Was froth of the sea
Where he'd tried to be free
How can you use the market place to predict future classics? How could you even bet on the literary future? EBay has found a way -- a really interesting one. The futures markets tell us that Darren Shan (author of the young adult series Cirque du Freak) is more than twice as valuable as of today than New Yorker darling David Mitchell. But Ken Follett is a cut above that.
How do I know?
Sometimes you notice an aesthetic effect or technique and assume that there must be a name for it. But how can you look it up? Maybe you can just ask.
At the end of a work of fiction, the ideal reader knows as much as the author. How could it be otherwise? There is nothing else to know.
This means that the end of the work is the end of omniscience.
While Beckett once advised another writer to stop "blazing away at the microcosmic moon," it's sometimes an irresisitible temptation to try to "flush the coverts of the microglot," as J.L. Austin put it (in "A Plea for Excuses"). And why resist it?