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恋愛と結婚は別のものと彼女は考えていた。
“she believed that love and marriage were different things” (Read Real Japanese)

It took me a minute to understand what's going on (I'm a beginner). It's a delight to see the topic of the main sentence (in bold) to be plugged like that between the verb and its object (a subordinate sentence with its own topic).

My questions/doubts: is this a normal (speech) word order or is it a stylistic inversion used for a literary effect. Is it the clearest expression? Shouldn't it at least be escaped with commas: 、彼女は、?

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is this a normal (speech) word order or is it a stylistic inversion used for a literary effect.

Yes, this is a normal order and not a stylistic inversion.

This is just as normal: 彼女は恋愛と結婚は別のものと考えていた。

This is a stylistic inversion: 彼女は考えていた…恋愛と結婚は別のものと。


Is it the clearest expression? Shouldn't it at least be escaped with commas: 、彼女は、?

It is clear enough, but not the clearest. Commas could help as follows, but not mandatory. Some may get annoyed by the abuse of commas, but it's a matter or preference:

  • 恋愛と結婚は別のもの、と彼女は考えていた。
  • 彼女は、恋愛と結婚は別のもの、と考えていた。

The clearest would be something like: 彼女は、「恋愛」と「結婚」は別のものである、と、考えていた。 which is overkill and will surely trigger some types of people.


It took me a minute to understand what's going on (I'm a beginner)

Take is slow and easy, you'll get used to it :)

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