Narrative Loading: A response to griffid2015’s post “The Three Dots”

I find what griffid2015 has to say in the first part of his post “The Three Dots” to be very interesting. The idea that we are part of a novel-length text conversation takes the novel to a new level of immersion.  For me though, this visual element raises another question: Are waiting through the dots?

Many pages in the novel are interrupted by some sort of visual element. For me, these dots are by far one of the most fascinating of these elements. These dots cause pause, much like the ellipsis they resemble. They prompt contemplation and confusion. At times, they frustrate us, almost testing our patience as readers (or viewers) of this novel’s ever-complicating events. In this way, they are quite similar to the loading or buffering screens encountered by viewers when streaming online content.

We talk about the novel as a means by which Danielewski remediates other media, (television, the web, online gaming/communication), so it is possible that these dots are a part of this scheme. The buffering or loading screens for online content take many different forms, sometimes ellipsis like these. Other posts, such as the one by juliapanko, discuss how Danielewski is, through this novel, remediating television. If we allow for the idea that many television shows are now streaming online, then the notion that ellipsis on these pages could represent the loading of future content gains a little more credence.

It is as if we are waiting for something to happen or for someone to arrive (the Narcon perhaps?) Once it does, everything changes. I looked through the remainder of the book, and after we meet the Narcon, these dots don’t appear to take up any more full pages. The ellipsis pages help the novel build up (or load) to its climax. The narrative entity that has subtly making itself known up until this point has revealed itself. It has overcome whatever barriers have previously held it back and the pace of the novel is speeding up. Strap in for the ride and enjoy the content to come.


One response to “Narrative Loading: A response to griffid2015’s post “The Three Dots””

  1. mvanmet says :

    To me, the three dots resemble the loading screen that appears on a computer or a movie when it is lagging or buffering. They occur sporadically throughout the novel, occurring most in pages 400-500, and then slowing fade out. The novel picks up the pace in these one hundred pages, and maybe the Narcons have a harder time keeping up–resulting in the buffering screen. The dots also occur the most in Xanther’s section. Xanther is very emotionally sensitive and does unexpected things often. When Xanther is rescuing the kitten, three dots appear within 3 pages of each other (see pages 485-491).

    The Narcon on page 566 has told us that “things get a little tricky when I am forced to address subjects not anticipated. I know this because my output squirms a little and sometimes smudges and I’m surprised by the results. You might call this a glitch.” Then the Narcon mentions “the spinning rainbow wheel”. This is commonly know as the loading icon on computers when there is a glitch. I think the three dots could be a similar glitch, like an emotional overload that the Narcon is unable to process quickly.

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