Ever been annoyed at one too many !!!!! on a social media post? Ever wondered whether that extra ! is too forceful, and should make way for a modest full stop ? Then An Admirable Point is for you.
The book traces the roots of ! in the manuscript culture of the late Middle Ages following its vagaries across centuries, oceans, and text media right up to its current flights of fancy in the digital soup of electric impulses we call the internet. Along the way, An Admirable Point examines how our prim and pristine Miss Jane Austen actually started as a wild exclamation marker and other ! in literature, why a well-placed ! sells for millions of dollars in art auctions, what happens in our head when we see a !, how ! helps us surf the internet, and what the promises and pitfalls of ! can be when it dips its stroke-dotted toes into politics and public life.
An Admirable Point: A Brief History of the Exclamation Mark is an unapologetic manifesto for exclaiming — exclaiming in surprise, wonder, and admiration at the world and ourselves.
A ‘brisk, enjoyable mischievous book…an invitation to shrug off the prescriptions of the language police and reawaken a sense of wonder” review by Henry Hitching in The Times Literary Supplement (23 December 2022). Click here.
There’s plenty more where An Admirable Point came from! I’ve worked on those inky squiggles for nearly a decade, so a sequel to ! may be in order. Currently talking with some publishers. Which other mark shall I write a book on?
As a Renaissance-specialist, I spend a large part of the day thinking about old books. Just now, I’m tinkering with fresh reconsiderations of Shakespeare’s works (38 plays & many many poems!) from a personal lense.
With my Iranian roots, the Middle East is always on my mind. As I’m getting older (in mezzo del cammin…), I’m drawn to what it means to belong: to a culture, place, a tribe, to oneself. I like the messy exciting side of life, how the Middle East is in Europe & the other way around.