Waiting

We have spent quite a bit of time in class discussing the strong presence of speed in this novel.  It informs Reno, art, political/artistic movements, and even the pace of the novel.  By the end, we don’t get a clear picture of who Reno truly is; we simply have an account of things that have happened to her.  She is a blur, speeding past us on her motorcycle, keeping us from pinning her down, from looking too closely.  She is the China Girl: in the film, but not captured on film.  (There is a section from these last chapters where she talks about this…I can’t seem to find it right now, but I know it’s there.)  What I wanted from the ending was some resolution of who she is.  I wanted to know her name.  The last line of the novel is: “Leave, with no answer.  Move on to the next question” (383).  This line serves as a resolution while also leaving everything entirely unresolved.  By that I mean the reader comes to an understanding that some questions just don’t get answered.  The book is about a girl whom we never really know, and we’ve been waiting for her to make herself visible to us.  “Reno” is waiting for Gianni, unsure of how long she should wait.  For the first time, she is still.  There is a remarkable lack of speed in that moment.  She is stuck between what it means to stay and what it means to go.  Rather than putting the focus on the events she encounters in the novel, the focus is directly on her.  For this reason, I was hopeful that we would get to see her for the first time.  Instead, there is that closing line, the line that means, “You showed up and you waited and you still couldn’t figure it out.”  At the end, we too must move on.  

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