Into the heart of America, zenomax's IJ thread.

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Into the heart of America, zenomax's IJ thread.

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1zenomax
Dez 29, 2012, 5:48am

I have the book next to me! Ready to kick off.

2zenomax
Jan 5, 2013, 6:24am

So far I have read 150 plus pages of The man in the high castle and 26 pages of IJ. Which, given that I started them together tells you that I am a little intimidated by the latter.

PKD's writing flows and grabs you. It's rhythms are concordant. DFW's writing is not rhythmic (or perhaps the rhythms are longer in structure and I will not see them until much later). You do have to work at understanding the disjointed narrative in IJ. But that in itself as a good thing.

The key to me in both books is the notion of the reality behind reality. By setting both books in a recognisable, but slightly different universe, both authors seem to be alluding to the nature of reality.

I like the way DFW has characters notice the quotidian (Hal noticing the smell and sound of the toilet where he has been restrained, Erdedy noticing an insect's movement on shelving). There is definitely something in my mind about people who notice what others do not. This invariably means noticing both the everyday things that are so familiar that no one else thinks of them, and the numinous or surreal or transcendent.

I think here of Schwitters who produced collages of found objects on one hand, and a merzbau which took up most of his house and which was so surreal that few could understand his obsession.

3zenomax
Jan 5, 2013, 8:12am

Oh and while I was reading section 2 of IJ, where Erdedy insecurely awaits the arrival of his drugs "He had never been so anxious for the arrival of a woman he did not want to see", I had the Tom Waits' song Underground looping in my head. Not sure why.

It will all unfold/there's a world going on underground....

4zenomax
Jan 5, 2013, 8:31am

I like the way DFW deals with drug addiction. Denial, organising ones affairs so as to put a full stop after each episode, then overcoming the ever increasing barriers without batting an eyelid as the desire kicks in again.

I can only bring to mind Sherlock Holmes and Stephen Maturin as others who have had a 'problem' with drug addiction. I'm not sure Holmes ever deals with it? Nor do I recall him ever confronting it. Maturin, being an intellectual and introvert rationalises his addiction to himself. Others fleetingly express concern although he barely seems to register this other than to decry the error of their viewpoint.

In TMITHC marijuana appears to be a legal substance so it doesn't seem to have the same baggage.

5absurdeist
Editado: Jan 6, 2013, 11:56am

2> or perhaps the rhythms are longer in structure and I will not see them until much later

Your intuition is on to something there. Check out my post here if time permits on IJs structure: http://www.librarything.com/topic/92291#3698014

Off to breakfast. Back in a bit ...

6zenomax
Jan 6, 2013, 3:12pm

Fractals! Patterns within patterns, ever recurring relationships played out over time and space.

7zenomax
Jan 23, 2013, 2:48am

So still only about 85 pages in. Reading slowly rather than rushing it. So far there seems to be more happening to my fellow group readers here than is happening in the book itself. What is it about the book that has such an effect? I find it intriguing and different, but haven't had an adrenalin rush, or any epiphanies as yet.

The reaction of a particular reader to a particular book at a certain moment in their life must be quite unique, and never something one could judge in advance.

I wonder what is yet to come for me in this book.