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The Reader

The class began with about 20 minutes of small talk and then we transitioned to Dōgen’s writings on Time. You may suppose that time is only passing away, and not understand that time never arrives.[1] The bells began to ring, as usual, ringing loudly through the center of main campus. First it’s the ding of the bell for each hour (here read as twelve), then our fight song rings much slower. It was more poignant this time, though, even though my class was so used to its interruption of our discussion of our technical texts – as if I needed a reminder of time passing through, of each moment dissipating with a snap of the fingers to the next moment.

As I read A Visit from the Goon Squad, I thought back to Albert Camus’s words: The whole art in Kafka consists in forcing the reader to reread.[2] The nonlinear format of Goon Squad creates a challenge for me (as the reader) to put the events of the different narrators in order, to the point that rereading would give me a chance to organize or reorganize the events in my head. The jigsaw narrative functions somewhat like a series of short stories in that each story has a different narrator. On the contrary, the chapters work together since they reference characters in other stories – it is difficult to have the full picture of the characters without reading the entire novel. Thus in this way, I am creating the story myself. There can be alternate interpretations of the order of events – did Egan intend the novel to be “unnumbered”? Or did she want the reader to learn about these characters without a timeline? Sasha is the character we begin the novel with; is she the primary character?

He [Alex] paused at the picture of Rob, Sasha’s friend who had drowned in college, but made no comment (14). I wonder if it would it have made a difference if we knew that Rob and Sasha were very close friends and Rob had feelings for Sasha. Instead, we know he drowns from this small detail and expect that outcome in Chapter 10. We discover he’s suicidal, was Sasha’s pretend boyfriend for appearances (for the detective her father hired to follow her) and was somewhat tortured by Sasha’s love for Drew. I imagined that Alex probably just thought that it was Sasha’s ex-boyfriend, which would not have been a far off assumption. By day, they would have been seen kissing, holding hands, etc., by night he would have been holding her when she cried in bed, and sleeping mere feet away from her otherwise. In some ways, I picture they could have been more than what they actually were.

And then as I progress through the novel, I suddenly need to flip the novel and read sideways. PowerPoint slides…by Alison Blake I flip to the next page. Alison Blake, Lincoln Blake…Sasha Blake…Drew Blake. They got married, Drew and Sasha. They started a family together. I had seen this PowerPoint first as I flipped through the novel for the first time, trying to brace myself for what I was getting myself into. It is an abrupt change of style and pace for sure. What if I had read this section first? I would not have known about Rob, the boy caught in the middle of Sasha and Drew. I would not have known the reason why Sasha bought the book Conduit: A Rock-and-Roll Suicide by Jules Jones (257). Jules Jones was her boss Bennie’s wife’s brother. And I would not have known why a picture of Sasha was in the book by Jules Jones if I started here in the novel. But do these references matter here? If I had read this PowerPoint first, I could get an overview of what was to come – like Rob’s death. I would have pieced together the other pieces of the story as I went along. And if my professor had not shown us the author’s website, I would not have known that this PowerPoint appears there (in its correct form?). The slides on pauses within songs make more sense; it’s in color and has more dynamism. These elements affect the way I see this presentation. It is more realistic, but also somehow more casual. Is it just because it is digital rather than physical? Does that make all the difference between how something is received?

While I write this paper, I am reminded of Nao from A Tale for the Time Being. I am somewhat intervening in the way Ruth intervened in Nao’s story. Where does Nao end and Ruth begin? Ruth’s level of intervention was indeterminate since the text was being translated from the original Japanese and French of Nao and her great-grandfather Haruki #1. Translations have many shades, and from what I’ve heard from others and read in this novel there are alternate meanings in Japanese (much more than in English). The translator is given quite a bit of power and participation in the novel based on their own choices.

            Ruth closed her eyes. In her mind, she could picture Nao, sitting by herself in the darkened kitchen, waiting for her mother to bring her father home from the police station. What had those long moments felt like to her? It was hard to get a sense from the diary of the texture of time passing. No writer, even the most proficient, could re-enact in words the flow of a life lived, and Nao was hardly that skillful. (64) The reader is just as involved as Ruth is in Nao’s life. Ruth transcribed the diary to bring it to us in the form of a novel, interspersing her own dialogue with the text. In this way, Ozeki (the author of A Tale for the Time Being) created a layer to Nao’s story, which easily could have been a standalone – and in the process, she created a discourse between Nao, Ruth, Ozeki, and the reader. I imagine the readers of this book are creating Reddit pages to discuss the text; the target/intended audience of this novel could have been geared for book clubs due to the integration and interaction of the reader.

And if you’re reading this, then maybe by now you’re wondering about me, too.

            You wonder about me.

            I wonder about you.

            Who are you and what are you doing? (3)

            Nao acknowledges the reader’s presence, encouraging them to go along for the ride. Throughout the novel, Nao asks questions of the reader fully knowing that she herself will never know the answer. Yet, she asks anyways – perhaps as a way to start a discourse outside of herself and beyond her existence (in this way, she also immortalizes herself). In Ruth’s sections of the novel, this happens as well. She is fully aware of the expectations Nao has and tries to abide by them. Perhaps it is by the honor code? Perhaps if Ruth paced herself by slowing down and not reading faster than the girl had written, she could more closely replicate Nao’s experience (36). A Tale for the Time Being is a study in the reader’s role in a text. While Ruth presents the reader’s thoughts as they read a work, she may not represent the whole of readers. Ruth researches outside of the book, placing other texts alongside the diary, and wants to immerse herself in Nao’s life. Is that just a characteristic of Ruth as a writer, to make Nao as real as possible? Or is that a function of us as readers wanting to absorb a story entirely? When I first began this text, I tried not to read the extensive footnotes and appendices in the effort of letting the text speak for itself and itself alone, but the text actually forces you into reading them. I had thought that perhaps Ruth had altered the interpretations of the Japanese kanji. The footnotes add more cultural understanding despite the possibility of an unreliable narrator situation. That discussion will need to be saved for another time, though it is worthwhile to mention here regardless.

the birth of the reader must be at the cost of the death of the author.[3]

            We discussed the Barthes reading early in the semester regarding the role of the reader, narrator and the author. The author writes a work to be sent out into the world for the reader – then it becomes the readers’ to read and create their own interpretation of the story. Once it’s published, ownership shifts to the reader. “Well,” Ruth said “It would be, except I still haven’t reached the end. Every time I open the diary, there are more pages. Like I said, the end keeps receding like an outgoing wave. Just out of reach. I can’t quite catch up.” (376) Is this a result of Ruth forgetting where the end of the diary is? Or is it an element of mysticism, that the book keeps writing more? Is Nao reaching through time or is this Ruth’s intervention in the text? Did she add these pages and forget her own writing? Ruth’s mother had Alzheimer’s, so anything is possible. Does it really matter which is intended? Unless Ozeki outright said that Ruth wrote certain sections of Nao’s writing to fill in the gaps would we know for sure. But even then, would we trust the words spoke outside of the book? We would be analyzing and researching the text on the outside, just like Ruth. I suppose that decision would be left up to what kind of a reader you are: text-purist or the (some would say) obsessive. Rarely do author’s create novels with all of the answers; the only example readily coming to mind being the Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Hobbit, which have extensive mythologies and background to add to the depth of Middle Earth.

However, as I ponder the effect of pulling in outside sources, I find it interesting that Ozeki provides a bibliography – some texts I do not recall being utilized in the novel. Perhaps it is hidden. Reading these texts in the future may add depth or realism to the text depending on which connections Ozeki made in the novel. I’d be particularly interested to see how Levy’s Scrolling Forward: Making Sense of Documents in the Digital Age, Fowler’s The Rhetoric of Confession and Kundera’s The Book of Laughter and Forgetting would affect how I think of A Tale for the Time Being. (I guess this is The Reader for the Time Being then, too…) Would Levy shed light on why pages started to disappear on the Internet when Ruth was researching? Was it not her imagination, or possibly her developing Alzheimer’s? Did she dream of “Harry”’s life in Sunnyvale and return to Japan? She could have read ahead in the book and forgotten what she read, right? Theoretically, she could have absorbed the information subconsciously and possibly dreamt of filling in the gaps. Though she is a novelist after all, and could have been filling in the gaps for herself? Or is she aware of us reading, too? She must be if she transcribed and translated large bodies of text. Who else would it have been for?

As the time passes through, these texts remind me that even this paper is not the end, only a holding point. My thoughts are now out there, but just as time never arrives, the reader’s thoughts do not have a destination. For this reason, I reread sections of these books and realize connections that I did not see before. The value in these books, any books for that matter, is that time and knowledge changes perspective. There is no definite in how texts are interpreted and understood. It evolves constantly – even better in context of groups like in our courses. I may have seen parts of A Tale for the Time Being as moments that Ruth or the reader was writing the story for herself, but others in my class saw it as zooming in and zooming out of particular scenes. While in older times writing was an act of immortality, continuing to have discourse about these novels ensures that the work does not die. This is the end of my paper for the time being, but not the end of these works or the discourse as a result.

 

[1] Dōgen, et al. The essential Dogen: writings of the great zen master. Shambhala, 2013.

[2] Cunningham, Guy P. “Fragmentary: Writing in a Digital Age.” The Millions, 23 Jan. 2012, themillions.com/2012/01/fragmentary-writing-in-a-digital-age.html.

[3] Barthes, Roland, and Stephen Heath. Image, music, text. Fontana Press, HarperCollinsPublishers, 2010.

 

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Discourse

Bakhtin discusses the author’s place in a novel in “Heteroglossia in a Novel”. His concept is that authors often place a different point of view “because it is highly productive…it is able on the one hand to show the object of representation in a new light…and on the other hand to illuminate in a new way the ‘expected’ literary horizon” (312-13).

The author shows himself on how he presents the narrator and their narrative, but yet his point of view may differ from the point of view of the narrator.

This presents itself in Ruth Ozeki’s A Tale for the Time Being in that one of the narrator’s is Ruth, the author herself. However, it is Oliver, Ruth’s husband, who discovers the hidden secrets within Nao’s diary before Ruth. I would suggest that Ozeki is ironically really representing herself through her husband, Oliver, since it is very convenient that he “sees the world in a different way” and “notices things that Ruth wouldn’t have first seen”.

I would also argue that part of A Tale for the Time Being is the Socratic method. The book already has a basis and a foundation with the philosophy embedded in the text, so it’s not much of a leap to see the Socratic method in action between Ruth and Oliver. They are constructively deconstructing the secret French diary and Nao’s living situation.

Ruth, the narrator, is too closed off in her own world of writing out Nao’s situation, but Oliver seems to understand it and see different points of view than Ruth. I don’t think Ozeki follows Ruth’s ideas, but I’ll have to see through to the end to see specific examples and ideas.

 
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Posted by on November 27, 2017 in Book Updates

 

What is an author?

Foucault in his work “What is an author?” discusses the importance of taking the author and their background into consideration. At one point, writing was considered a way to immortalize the author. Foucault discusses that at this point in time, writing is now associated with the death of the author (as also discussed in Barthes’ “Death of the Author”).

While Foucault discusses separating the author from their work, he also asks “What is a work?” (207) He asks if we should consider sketches, revisions, ideas, etc. as works on their own. In music, we consider revisions as works on their own and often needing to choose which revision to perform.

In Ozeki’s A Tale for the Time Being, it goes back and forth between a young teenage girl who is looking to transcribe the life of her great-grandmother before she commits suicide, and a wife who finds the diary after many years. This question of considering the author’s intentions before death is relevant for this work since the young girl begins her diary writing and rewriting the entry a few times. Do we consider the first entry to be part of her work? Or do we only consider the revision as her intention? Do we consider the whole diary a work? Or do we dismiss the work since we don’t know if those words on the page were her true intention or just a first revision?

Then, we also have the consideration if we should consider her anonymity and try to dig up who this young girl was to uncover meaning from the work. Can’t we just take the work on face value? Does it really need the context of the author’s background, the narrator’s life and person or information behind the text?

 
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Posted by on November 13, 2017 in Book Updates

 

Becoming

This week we were asked to consider who is actually “becoming” in A Visit from the Goon Squad.

A Visit from the Goon Squad is a bildungsroman, colloquially known as a coming-of-age story. A bildungsroman is a story that involves a character arc and coming of age.

Egan writes in a fragmented way, with a different narrator per chapter. The novel features many flashbacks and flashforwards (also referred by some theorists as prolepse and analepse respectively). This fragmented system creates puzzle pieces of the narrator. It makes the story drive since the reader is always kept on their feet.

In addition, it makes a game for the reader to figure out what’s going on in the narrative by nature of the fragmentation of the text.

Since there are only small character arcs, I would argue that the reader is really who is becoming in A Visit from the Goon Squad since the audience is having to put together the narrative and create meaning out of the scattered text. The meaning isn’t inherent in the text across the narrators. The reader is analyzing and piecing together the fragments and events in the “right” order.

Although, one must ask “Why did Egan choose to put these events in this order?” It could have been to keep the reader on their feet or possibly to create this difficult jigsaw. The fragments themselves, as I mentioned in my previous post, are so different in the narrators’ voices and the text layout/breaks. The work is fairly experimental in this way.

 
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Posted by on November 7, 2017 in Book Updates

 

A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan

A new book…a different animal.

I am really enjoying this book so far. In the beginning, each chapter switches narrators, each with their own problems and their own voice. Rhea, in Chapter 3, had an interesting voice because the dialogue isn’t notated in the text (no quotation marks), which adds to the detached narrator. Rhea is the most obvious change between the other two characters/narrators.

In Chapter 1, Sasha with her kleptomania features very clear breaks in the text to show the flashbacks and current happenings. Chapter 2 features Bennie’s stream-of-consciousness flashbacks and “end-flashbacks”. It got a little mixed up, so to clarify for myself in the future, this is when I started to notate when there were flashbacks and current events.

Time is a big part of this novel since it jumps back and forth between events, so keeping track of these moments hopefully will clarify for future analysis. It is interesting that the narrative isn’t so broken up like the other text I read recently: Another Roadside Attraction.

However, Egan does a really good job on differentiating between the characters, yet without seeming like each of the chapters is a different encapsulated story. The characters build upon each other, and while they are indeed very separate and have their own particular issues, they seemingly are working side by side and in-conjunction with the others.

I’m looking forward to noticing more of the subtle differences between the voices and I hope to see how each event more directly correlates with the rest of the novel.

 

 
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Posted by on October 30, 2017 in Book-related

 

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Who do you think you’re talking to?

Affect and Discussion of the Audience in Another Roadside Attraction and God’s Country

In marketing, one of the first pieces of information a business or non-profit should determine is their target audience for a particular product or campaign. The more specific the target audience is, the more successful the reach of the campaign will be. The marketing concept applies to most fields, including art, music and literature. To be completely honest, I am not sure who Tom Robbins or Percival Everett were intending to speak to in their respective novels, Another Roadside Attraction or God’s Country. There are aspects of the novels that obscure that piece of information. God’s Country is definitely more straightforward than Another Roadside Attraction in its content, but it is not crystal clear who might pick up the book. Are these books intended only for those who will study them? What classification or discipline is this geared towards? What demographic might they be trying to reach?

Tom Robbins’ Another Roadside Attraction is a difficult read due to its broken or fragmented narrative. Through time skips, authorial intrusions, breaking of the fourth wall and abrupt style changes, the reader may be challenged by the work. The general style of Another Roadside Attraction is very colloquial, but to a modern reader it could be hard to follow because of the dated references. Furthermore, Robbins frequently makes obscure and hifalutin references. For example, John Paul Ziller is dreaming of his former wife: “They were carrying her out of the Kansas City Opera House, in the middle of Act II of Die Fledermaus. Her bat cries were obscuring the mezzo-soprano, drool dripping from her gentle mouth like pearls from the anus of an angel” (Robbins 82). Part of the hilarity of this quote is Robbins’ use of the term “bat cries” since Die Fledermaus in German means “The Bat”. Moreover, the wife’s cries drowning out the mezzo-soprano adds to this because the opera Die Fledermaus is also about a woman going to a ball to catch her husband flirting with other women. It is almost a foreshadowing to the flirtatious mannerisms of Ziller’s wife Amanda to come in the next parts of the novel. This reference is not at all random; Robbins used this reference to add depth, and while it seems out of place, it fits with the context quite well to add complexity to the content and involve the reader’s knowledge. It is like tipping a hat to musicians.

As a Classical musician myself, it is unusual to see even two Classical music references in a given context. (In Another Roadside Attraction there are at least three if not more!) Due to the informal nature of the text, these “high-brow” references or other intellectual discussions stand out among the rest. It can be disorienting for the reader and, perhaps, that is the point. Robbins’ Another Roadside Attraction was written in 1971. This was the activation of drug and hippie culture, and the sexual revolution. The main character, Amanda, often puts herself into mystic trances to “tell the future” or “connect with the higher spirits. The text’s function replicates the trancelike state of many of the characters due to the disjointed narrative and bathos.

Also, Bathos was a term invented by poet Alexander Pope in his essay “Peri Bathous (The Art of Sinking)” in order to criticize the anticlimactic prose of his contemporaries. The term refers to a quick jump in tone or lost train of thought. Another Roadside Attraction features many of bathos that mixes high society ideas and references with hoi polloi everyday language and crass sex scenes.

In addition, Robbins uses references that are all over the board in terms of subject matter. 1970’s references aside, he refers to classical music, world history, politics, literature and spiritual or religious texts. Robbins relates the dimension Amanda’s tattoos were given during her pregnancy to “the dome of the Sistine Chapel had done to Michelangelo’s cartoons” (Robbins 54). From a rhetorical perspective, this makes Robbins’ text more universal since these references help augment the reader’s experience and understanding of his ideas. However, this also makes the intended audience very challenging to determine. If the intended reader is expected to understand all of these references, I am not entirely sure what demographic would fit that description. It could be the older generation, but yet the range of subjects references cover would rarely pin down a single group of people.

In Booth’s “Types of Narration”, Booth discusses the differences between the implied author, the author, the intended reader and the actual reader. The actual author may not be the author that seemingly is writing within the text (implied author). In this way, Robbins’ Another Roadside Attraction is somewhat ambiguous. The narrator and implied author almost seem like the same person since the narrator was constantly poking fun at the reader until Part III clarifies that the narrator is Marx Marvelous and not Robbins speaking directly to the reader himself.

The narrator would add statements like: “Billy the Kid was a Sagittarian. He was an outlaw for the fun of it. Another Roadside Attraction is also a Sagittarian. But don’t jump to any conclusions” (Robbins 180), which was written within a sudden segregated Horoscope section of the book. Robbins pokes fun at astrology, mysticism and its quirks, while also “breaking the fourth wall”, using an aside and showing the narrator’s awareness of writing this book and writing for an audience.

In Barthes’ “Death of an Author”, Barthes claims that there should be separation between the author and their work. Barthes’ key argument is that the creator should be differentiated from their work, and identity — their background, values, or beliefs — should not be a part of analysis and extracting meaning. God’s Country by Percival Everett might not benefit from analyzing with the lens of the author’s identity. Upon first isolated read, the reader may not think much of the author, particularly with the lack of biographical or identifying information on the back cover (of the second edition copy by Beacon Press). However, under the surface of the text, it is made obvious that the author does not have the same beliefs and bias as the narrator, Curt Marder. God’s Country is a satire with Marder constantly being poked fun at and things rarely going as he planned. Most of the characters would make fun of Marder frequently and rarely give him sympathy from the very start of the novel. Marder’s barn and house are burned down, his wife kidnapped and his dog shot with an arrow. As he tells the other guys at the saloon, they guffaw at Marder’s lost barn, house and other property, refusing to give him any loans. Unexpectedly, they give him an ounce of sympathy at his dog having been shot with an arrow (which might I add he felt obligated to keep the arrow as proof after he did nothing to stop it) (Everett 5-8). Everett adds these unexpected jabs where the reader least expects it, adding a layer of spontaneity to the text.

The other indicator that Everett does not follow his narrator’s beliefs is through the foils of Bubba and Marder. Bubba is an African American tracker, someone who hunts down people and stolen goods or livestock. In some ways, he is the Sherlock Holmes and possibly the real hero of the novel through his insight, observation and cognizance. Marder is essentially the opposite of him; Marder has his biases, which make it hard for him to realize what is actually happening. It is like Marder is living in his own version of reality.

Another way to know Everett’s perspective is through his authorial intrusions, which often add insight or hilarity that Marder would not have been able to provide. Marder is generally concerned with what happens outside of his own body. He does not provide introspection, consideration of others nor discussion of complex concepts. However, Booth’s concept of authorial intrusions, or break in the narrator’s voice, offer these options. Everett uses these opportunities to add depth and interest to Marder that the narrator would be incapable of otherwise. The reader is trapped inside of the mind of a bigot, which can get frustrating since the reader is constantly wanting Marder to make good decisions and be a good person. Largely these comments facilitate that desire, giving the reader a glimmer of hope that he is not as oblivious or unintelligent as he seems. Marder, at one point, has doubts about telling Colonel Custer of the Indian chief, Big Elk’s, whereabouts. “The notion was malignant, and soon it was burning a hole in the top of my head. A case of conscience is a needling and exceedingly useless condition” (Everett 132). This quote (particularly the sentence beginning with “ A case of…”) stands out from the text because Marder would not usually have thoughts similar to that. He is not typically insightful and usually would only have description involving how things affect him. He is the poster child for a self-centered human being. Yet, another example crops up when Bubba, Loretta and Marder see Jake has make-up on her or “is painted”. “’Why it’s just awful,’ Loretta said. Loretta was sort of crying, like maybe she was seeing herself in a glass’ (Everett 212). Marder would not have noticed the small detail or the possible motive behind Loretta’s crying.

There are two main moments in God’s Country that obscures the reality of the plotline: when Marder is half-buried in sand, and at the end of the novel when Marder tries to kill Bubba. When Marder tries to kill Bubba by shooting him with his gun. He empties the entire gun, yet Bubba does not die. He said “’You done cheated me, lied to me and killed my brothers. I ain’t got enough interest in you to kill you. But I’m goin’ down there, like I said. And you or somebody what looks like you or thinks like you or is you will find me and you’ll burn me out, shoot me, or maybe lynch me. But you know something? You cain’t kill me’” (Everett 219). While part of this moment is racial in nature with Bubba, there is also the question of whether this was reality or if this was a hallucination on Marder’s part. Not to detract from the moment of truth where Bubba takes ownership of himself when no one in the era would have, but this brings up a question of reliability. If this happened in Marder’s head, how might that change the interpretation behind the event? How might that change how the audience would react to it?

Both of the narrators in Another Roadside Attraction and God’s Country are very much aware that they are telling a story in a particular audience. Marder says, “I’ll hurry this part here. Weren’t much to it. He just thought I should have another bath before setting out on the trail” (Everett 133). Marx Marvelous says, “One moment, please. The author wishes very quickly to relate something of an immediate nature” (Robbins 124). This creates an unreliable narrator situation, but beyond that fact: whom do these narrators think they are talking to?

God’s Country could just have a Western reader/audience since there are some playful jokes regarding the genre, and the moral dilemmas/turmoil the narrator faces. I am not sure that audience encompasses all of Everett’s decisions. Another Roadside Attraction’s audience depends on if Robbins intended his audience to understand the diverse set of references he makes. It was definitely intended for an audience that is familiar with the ‘70’s era or possibly lived in that era. A modern audience likely will not know who “The Cleevers” are, for example. The other references span across many disciplines, including art, music and literature. However, are these references necessary to understand the entirety of the text? It is possible, but likely not necessary. As for the bathos, narrator, and format used, those characteristics lend themselves to a literary audience. The choices are intentional for an audience that will study and pore over the rhetorical decisions Robbins made.

 
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Posted by on October 22, 2017 in Book Updates, Book-related

 

The Power of the Mind

In Starhawk’s Truth or Dare, the concept of Magic is described as “the art of changing consciousness at will.” To me, magic doesn’t have to be witchcraft, but can easily be explained as the power of the mind. Many talk about how visualization and imagination is such a powerful tool.

In music, visualization is often used for practicing purposes. If you can’t hear what the music should sound like, there is little chance you will be able to play it.

This also links to power of religion as well. You may not be able to see all entities at all times, but the power is there invisible to the senses.

Another Roadside Attraction pokes fun at religion, referring to a great entity as the Infinite Goof. Yet, the tone that Robbins inflicts is somewhat ambiguous due to authorial intrusions. On page 12 itself, the text takes an abrupt turn and includes many philosophical thoughts.

“Happiness is a learned condition.”

“It is content, or rather the consciousness of content, that fills the void.”

It is somewhat unusual that Robbins seems to show philosophy as the preferred belief system rather than religion. The other content in the text is somewhat surrealist and bizarre. This sudden turn into the formality and logic of philosophy makes a departure for the generally casual and seemingly random occurrences.

Page 16 makes an allusion to the style of Biblical text: “On the tenth day, in the midst of a late communal breakfast…” Again, this kind of authorial intrusion is obvious because of the clear mismatch between the style of writing and the much more casual (and modern) content.

Page 180 has another fairly obvious authorial intrusion in the Horoscope added onto the page. Particularly interesting is the phrase: “Another Roadside Attraction is also a Sagittarian. But don’t jump to any conclusion.” Like any good reader, I don’t like doing what books tell me to do. I think this phrase might be referring to the idea that Sagittarians are honest, even brutally so.

I think the even bigger question is whether that is really true. We don’t really know how honest this text is, only how explicit and negative the narrator’s view of Amanda is.

 
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Posted by on October 3, 2017 in Book Updates