A storm within a storm…within a storm…


In Xanther’s opening chapter, as her brain desperately searches for a way to begin the problem of counting all the raindrops in the sky, Danielewski introduces his readers to the theme of “a storm within a storm” (bottom of p63, or left of p62, depending on how you think about it, or how you’re holding your book as it begins to spin). In fact, Danielewski begins unleashing multiple storms; some nested within others, and others that are separate but share the same parent storm. My guess is that you could step backwards, or forwards for that matter, through these levels of storms infinitely in your mind if you tried. In Xanther’s second chapter, there exists clarifications of the story injected into the text surrounded by brackets, which sometimes contain more specific clarifications of those clarifications, and so on. These instances of clarification, which I assume are being given by those speaking on the black pages (p16-17), can each be thought of as little individual storms that pull you further and further away from the storm you were just in. But these clarifications all reside in storms of individual chapters, that reside in larger storms that are the individual stories of the book. What’s more, these stories run parallel to other stories, that reside in the storm that is the novel. This novel is only a single storm in a whole storm of novels, which is a series of novels in a whole storm of series by the publisher. Okay, I think you get the picture; the concept of infinity (p59). A number line that stretches forever in both directions. This too represents a storm within a storm because the distance between any two numbers can be divided an infinite number of times. The idea can be applied to so many things in the novel and the universe; an infinite number of things, perhaps. I’m starting to see how this way of thinking could become an obsession.


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