to be fluent in one’s insides

The true spectacle of these stories is the spectacle of self. Brilliantly, however, Steinberg succeeds in this by utilizing “experimental literature.” How is this done, one may ask? I assert that the experimentalism of Steinberg’s writing is a direct action upon the readers’ mind in order to create an “endless dialogue between one’s own soft brain and one’s own soft brain” (Universe). This to say, the reader is engaging in their own discussion of self, their own reflection and realization, through they engagement with Steinberg’s prose, much like the narrator(s) engage with their own identities within the pages of Spectacle.

How is one to understand the blatant uncertainty of life that the narrator(s) feel without somehow experiencing these feelings themselves. There is uncertainty in regards to gender performance, life, and death that rolls around within the pages of the stories – but these are words, and words alone. Steinberg aims to engage on a plain that is more involved than simply that. Rather, she creates the notion of uncertainty through the presentation of literature in a way that is only able to be grasped through questioning. Do we – the reader – truly understand the mind of our narrator(s)? We cannot, and will not, Steinberg says. We can work with the narrator’s process, her stream of consciousness, we can understand her as we understand any other human, and any other thought process. But still lies that uncertainty. The uncertainty of information, the uncertainty of form – the uncertainty that what we see is not all we see, and all we see is not what we see. In Spectacle there is a large realm of confusion that is meant to encompass conversation – and it does so, brilliantly, by utilizing the nuances of experimental literature.

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