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.