Narcons in My Head

A question that I would like to throw out there is whether anyone had the same reaction to idea when first introduced to the Narcon. Specifically, the Narcon’s description of itself and its function allows for the possibility that the characters we have encountered are products of the Narcon’s AI. Suddenly, I was devastated. It bothered me that maybe these characters weren’t “living” in “their own world” but were just constructs of Narcons. But if this isn’t the case, and Narcons are just observers, not creators, the characters are no more real than if the Narcons are the authors. And yet I feel so much better with the idea that it’s not the Narcons who are creating the narrative, but Danielewski (who’s creating the narrative no matter what!).  MD is completely in my head. Anyone else?

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2 responses to “Narcons in My Head”

  1. Lauren Craig says :

    How would they do that? And why would they construct entire worlds for these people to live in?

  2. atodd102015 says :

    Lauren–I would think the “how” is presumably the same way an author does, but with fancy new futuristic AI. though that might be more reductive than what you’re asking. The why might be explored in the rest of the volume(s).

    David, I disagree with the “no more real” because we’re talking about a number of “removes.” I guess it depends on your view of fictionality, but to me, diegetically real (Xanther lives in the story but is recorded by the Narcon, all of which is part of the Danielewskiverse) is real-er than a Narcon existing in the Danielewskiverse that creates a character. Even if they’re both non-actual, it’s easier to empathize with real-Xanther because empathizing with construct-Xanther would be closer to empathizing with the Narcon that created her. The labels I’m making up on the fly might be confusing things even more, but I think it certainly matters if she’s real or a construct, and it cuts to the heart of the questions of metafiction, the author “contract,” and storytelling in general.

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