Comma, Comma, Comma!

Am I the only one who gets stuck on a simple punctuation mark when reading? I want to understand everything Virginia Woolf writes, even down to her choice of punctuation, but while reading Lighthouse today, I came across a sentence with a comma in a place I would not have chosen. (If you’re reading the book for the first time, it’s good, really good, isn’t it?)

Here:

“Simple, obvious, commonplace, as it was, Mr. Bankes was interested.”

I don’t quite understand the placement of the comma after commonplace. I would have left it out. I feel that as it was is strongly connected to commonplace. Am I missing something here? Do let me know if there’s some grammatical rule or exception I’m overlooking.

Hubby says I should consult other editions and her original manuscript, and I would, except that involves walking upstairs and having internet that works and that’s a no right now – thanks, Mediacom, for sponsoring this outage. I’ve learned when to let good enough be good enough. Besides, I kinda like pondering.

What do you think about the sentence? How do you read it?

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2 thoughts on “Comma, Comma, Comma!

  1. Man, I dropped the ball on my Woolf read with you this fall! I think it could also be an error. Either it shouldn’t be there, as you said. Or if it was a period instead of a comma, mightn’t it also work? I know a lot of the interpretation comes down to context.

    1. I’m glad you’re joining in now, Ashley! I love your insight. I agree that there’s something odd about the punctuation for sure. A period — I hadn’t considered that. Brava!

      Can’t wait until your novel is out in the world. I heard a new-to-me term that made me think of it recently — would “campus fiction” apply to yours? I like the term and would read anything in that category. 😀

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