The Narcons

In the text, we frequently see comments in the font designated for “The Narcons” (for more information on who uses which font, you can find this information in the back of your book approximately pg. 843). These comments are bracketed by the braille letters “N” and “Z”. It is my hypothesis that “The Narcons” are Mark Z. Danielewski playing the part of creator or God. These  Narcons (TF-Narcon3, 9 & 27) are giving us clues in the text, translations, and then states that they aren’t our “Google bitch[es],” as the Mandarin and Cantonese characters start showing up frequently in the character jingjing’s chapters,   I believe that these inserted comments are the author’s way of communicating signals and clues to his readers without leaving footnotes. As some mentioned in an earlier class this week, the braille letter may in fact be Danielewski’s way of signing his name.

The most important clue that “The Narcons” has left us (or me) so far is found on Page 110, where “The Narcons” point out that the spelling of “catstrophe” may not just be coincidental or the fault of mistranslation or an accent. He points this out with the use of an “!” which leads me to believe that cats will be significant later on in the story (this and the fact that others have many posts about cats).

What do you think? Could “The Narcons” be Mark Z. Danielewski? Or do you think that Mark Z. Danielewski is playing the role of creator by implementing the narcons into the story to create and manipulate the narrative for him?  Would Danielewski engage with his audience in such a personal way as to write himself as one of the characters? Or are “The Narcons” something else entirely? If so, who do you think it is?



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2 responses to “The Narcons”

  1. cchen93 says :

    Reading this post made me question what a “narcon” actually is. When I plug the word “narcon” into an online search engine, the first things that pop up are a swedish festival focused on east asian pop culture and a few websites referring to help with narcotics. This makes me wonder why Danielewski used this word to describe the narcons in this novel. These narcons act as beings or machines (note quite sure which yet) that seem to understand more of the full picture of the novel. They adding interesting and insightful comments throughout the many stories and add layers of understanding and meaning. However, do those actions have anything to do with a swedish festival or narcotics? I’m not quite sure. And if not, why use this word?

    And in response to whether or not Danielewski is the same as the narcons, I don’t think so. There are three individual narcons that act as separate entities. They have their own individual fonts and interact with the text differently. If it was Danielewski entering the text as a voice of insight I would think he would use one voice and not three different ones. Although I have not quite yet finished the novel, I believe these three narcons will have significant impact, in different ways, within this novel.

  2. klhinto says :

    I think that it is interesting that there are various possible meanings when it comes to the Braille dots. I find it particularly interesting that one of these ideas, “the n” sounds like “the end” when said out loud. I think that this play on words could relate directly to the narcons that appear to be controlling the story, because of this I wonder if it is supposed to signify “the end” since the narcons are the only one’s who know how the story ends and are the only one’s who can control how the story ends.

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