beginnings and endings of chapters

Something that I found to be interesting in the novel are the beginnings and endings of chapters. As The Familiar is a novel that combines so many highly individualized stories and characters, the beginnings and endings of chapters (as the place where the disparate stories “meet,” or come into direct contact) are particularly emphasized. The fact that Danielewski does not often provide much context at the beginnings of the chapters, instead starting in media res reinforces the notion that the stories bleed into one another because they are stacked right next to one another without any fluff in between. In this sense the beginnings and ending of each chapter are like cinctures.

Many chapters thus far (up until page 398 at least) begin with a line of dialogue, and most begin with a saying or quote attributed to someone well-known. What significance do these “voices” that are featured at the beginning of chapters (whether in dialogue or simply in the invoked “voices” of those to whom the quotes are attributed) have? How does the primarily auditory nature of these “voices” influence the narrative style as a whole?


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