On Connection

I find connection (or, more precisely, lack thereof) to be a theme with many dimensions in this novel thus far. This book, more than any others this semester, seems to violate the conventions of a consistent narrative time-space; much like other novels we have read, we are not given any historical or geographical markers in which to orient ourselves, and this disorientation pervades on a more literal level when one considers the way that the words are structured on the page. There are no line breaks besides those meant to indicate a transition between scenes, and the word “transition” is almost too strong of a word to use in this case. As readers, we are provided with little connectivity beyond the mention of familiar names – going from one scene to the next, there is no way to tell the amount of time that has lapsed between them, or to what degree the narrative remains linear despite its disjointedness.

The most intriguing way that connection arises in the dialogue itself. Our narrator continually meets new people and seems to constantly be saying “Hello” to them, but no one else appears to be particularly interested in communicating beyond necessity (particularly n the bus scene with Pavla), hence why some characters are introduced and reintroduced. I am interested to find out exactly why this is, although for now I must commend Gladman on her success in creating such a surreal narrative with such simple language.

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