The Novel

So at first I started questioning whether we could even call this cluster of narratives a novel, but I suppose it works because the book follows the actions of several characters and has *some* degree of realism. So, when I reached the passage of Pressman’s article where she notes that Tom causes the books to fall when removes a novel from the shelf, it only made me further question the purpose/definition of a novel. In that scene, he removes a novel, and every other type of book falls to the floor to reveal that the wall has become longer than the shelf. This is significant because it’s demonstrating how the novel is purely an interpretation of reality.

Drawing on the Walls

In class the other day we got to draw with crayons and it reminded me of that time my father, Hans, and I drew words and phrases on the basement wall when he taught me language. It helped me learn a lot about forming words and the basement looked pretty great afterwards… or should I say “afterwords”? I thought creating our mental images of the house was a great idea to tangibly express the intangible, making the lack of reality into reality. I think Danielewski would agree…

Purely Pyro

I really loved the irony of burning all important things in an effort to make them feel unimportant. Also, this short story forces readers to question how and why we choose which things are more valuable than other things. For example, the one young impoverished girl who tried to jump into feuer because she considered herself worthless. What constitutes worth? And (philosophically/theoretically speaking here) what makes her life valuable? She does not contribute to the economy and likely not the political and social systems, so why would somebody rescue her? Of course I believe that her life is valuable- all human lives are- but, I find it interesting to think about our societal perceptions of worth and how we determine the value of a life. And, based on the reading, we have to also consider how material possessions and lineage/wealth contribute to that worth… Wow, what a begriff. I miss the easier days when I would paint the basement walls with new words and pictures…

Beatty’s Books

After the discussion last class, I was thinking a lot about the “weaponized” way Beatty uses books, but mostly I was thinking about the fact that he uses books to prove his argument. Even though his argument is that books are useless and unimportant, he still quotes literature to prove his point; therefore demonstrating that books do, in fact, have a use. I was wondering if anybody else is reveling in this unsinnige- oh, excuse me- nonsensical type of irony?