Quotation marks in “An Octopus” vs. those in Herzog

How to characterize the text in quotations in An Octopus? As Bad Writing? As Non-poetry? The writing one needs in some way, but is tired of? (If I were to write something that’s only half good, could I make it entirely good by putting the poor portions in quotes?) As Found text? What would be the effect of removing the quotations?… The idea that these are “reverse” or “anti” quotations — (you quote something worthwhile said by Shakespeare, but you reverse quote the things you can’t escape saying. Things said by Reagan you quote, things said by you and I you reverse quote). Maybe these reverse quote are a sort of admission of failure of the artist: I can’t escape saying certain things yet I can still in someway excuse or isolate it with a quote. (I want to say that Walt Whitman, the poet, is closer to Walt Whitman, the subject of his poem, than is Saul Bellow is to his Moses Herzog, but is it so? Is it the reverse? The many devices Bellow uses to convey different levels and kinds of expressed thought: thoughts, spoken thoughts, thoughts spoken in letters, in papers…)… Are these the “finger flexions” (f.f) of David Foster Wallace (B.I #48)…? Perhaps we have punctuation where once we had accentuation: punctuation now both a logical and (explcitly) rhythmic tool.

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