The writers among us should appreciate this Q&A from Ask Figaro:
Does the following sentence employ an incremental epistrophe?
In New York City, especially in Greenwich Village, down among the cranks and the misfits and the one-lungers and the has-beens and the might’ve-beens and the would-bes and the never-wills and the God-knows-whats, I have always felt at home. (Joseph Mitchell, Up in the Old Hotel, “Joe Gould”s Secret”)
Martin and Leia
Ah, Joe Mitchell, the greatest writer journalism ever produced (yeah, that includes, you, Mr. Hemingway). Your collection of Mitchell’s New Yorker non-fiction mixes the hard-boiled with the lyrical like no other literature.
The quotation qualifies as a polysyndeton, a figure that connects parts of a sentence with a repeated conjunction (“This AND this AND this…”). Mitchell uses it to make his list seem longer, and to bracket each item. It’s a subtle way of boldfacing each point.
But that’s not all. He embeds his glorious polysyndeton, performing another figure called the parenthesis. (And you know what a parenthesis is.) Mitchell’s parenthetical tour de force gives the impression of a man who strays from the beaten path, both literally and syntactically.
These two figures combine to give the impression of an inspired wanderer. Which is what he was.