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message 1: by Nathan "N.R.", James Mayn (new)

Nathan "N.R." Gaddis (nathannrgaddis) | 662 comments Discuss.

message 2: by Nathan "N.R.", James Mayn (new)

Nathan "N.R." Gaddis (nathannrgaddis) | 662 comments obfuscations wrote: "i absolutely loved the rich & creamy visual description of '70s new york street action in this section"

I'm feel compelled to second abfuscations' motion. Brilliant. The rolling oranges will not be forgotten.

message 3: by Aloha (new)

Aloha | 497 comments There is so much in each of his stories. He says a lot with a few expressions.

message 4: by Nathan "N.R.", James Mayn (new)

Nathan "N.R." Gaddis (nathannrgaddis) | 662 comments Jonathan's deleted post ::

Chilean exile-economist Mackenna walks toward a phone booth near Penn Station, toward the location for a letter drop (letter contents unknown), the letter from Foley, a man our Chilean met in prison while visiting another inmate (and if I trust my own reading, neither of them are the 'known anti-Castro incendiary' we've been hearing about from Spence, though he is likely in the same prison). Foley isn't making the drop himself, but has employed a messenger who goes by the name (alias?) Efraín (a recent parolee). Dr. M is instructed to identify himself by wearing a tweed cap. He walks through the NYC streets, through crowds getting out of a basketball game at the Madison Square Garden. Dr. M becomes suspicious about the drop, fearful of being killed or tortured because of his Allende connections. He takes off his tweed cap and moves away from the drop point, though is within eyesight of it. He sees Amy, Mayn, and Larry in the crowd, going to get fast food Greek at Giro II after the game. A man that Dr. M suspects is Efraín talks to the threesome. Dr. M spots the letter from Foley in Efraín's pocket, snatches it (He thinks Amy sees him but she doesn't indicate she does), and escapes into a taxi. The cab moves past Efraín who realizes what has happened as he looks into the passing cab's window. Does Efraín recognize Dr. M, even without his cap...

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What do you make of McElroy's stockpiling of mysteries? It seems that the Qs are accumulating, even now at a third through the novel, at the same rate they have always been. The answers, the gaps, are filled in at a much slower rate. I think this technique is very effective at creating momentum, but it also creates a certain amount of anxiety, as one often feels that one missed a certain piece of information that a more conventional author would have given at a much earlier point. For example, I was convinced I missed a sentence explaining how Lar' and Mayn knew each other, only to be given that information much later. I still find it hard to trust myself, convinced I have missed how Mayn met Amy, how Lar' met Amy, several several other gaps. This anxiety is eased somewhat by McElroy's technique of restating relationships and events and echoing scenes and parts of scenes. Though some important, or I want to say focal, events and relationships are not or have not yet been restated or echoed... and some, even many, may have passed me unnoted. We press forward, hopefully everyone enjoying themselves as much as I am, with our 'small scale units of book and pillow case and hand'.


'The hell with "dialogue". Some casual talk instead...'

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