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278 pages, Paperback
First published June 3, 2011
He shrugged. "These are our circumstances. I'm just trying to make sense of them," he said.This starts off cute, then begins to cut. It's metafiction, but in the sense of reality feeding books feeding reality, the recursiveness of ideology as word turns work in the most common sensical and, indeed, the most insidious of ways. Tropes in one, taken for granted on the other, and our balancing act in between.
Mary was silent.
"Everyone dies." He smiled crookedly. "I doubt it's ever a pleasant experience. So does it really matter how it happens?"
"Yes!" She put a hand on his arm, trying to pass her shock through his skin. "Yes."
"What you're doing is building a horrible kind of logic. People read what you write and they say, 'Yes, he is talking about things that really happen,' and they keep reading, and it makes sense to them. You're explaining things that can't be defended, and the explanations themselves are mad, just bizarre—but you offer them with such confidence. It was because she kept the chain on the door; it was because he needed to let off steam after a hard day's scraping and bowing at work; it was because she was irritating and stupid; it was because she lied to him, made a fool of him; it was because she had to die, she just had to, it makes dramatic sense; it was because 'nothing is more poetic than the death of a beautiful woman'; it was because of this, it was because of that. It's obscene to make such things reasonable."