Labels and Genre
Obviously, as we have all seen by now, this book is tough to fit into any type of “box” or label. Although I know it is experimental fiction, I have been trying to at least connect it to one type of genre in order to comprehend its meaning, but so far I have not been able to narrow it down to just one. I originally thought each sub-story could at least be labeled as a certain genre: i.e., Xanther’s as a fairly classic narrative, The Orb as some sort of science fiction, Narcon as something similarly scientific/computer-based…but now I am doubting myself once again. Xanther’s section seems to have taken a turn for the supernatural, fantastical genre. Are we supposed to believe that the big rainstorm, involving Xanther getting lost in the flood and returning to the car, actually happened that way? Or was it more a dream-like state, made of the imagination? Then, the next chapter to follow is the infamous Narcon chapter…something I have honestly never seen anything like in any other type of novel. Presumably the book itself is talking – Danielewski? Some far-off, alien creature? A computer? – this section struck me more as sci-fi, with its computer language and coding. What frustrates me the most right now is that I have come this far along in this captivating novel (if it can even be called a novel) and have yet to come up with a way to organize it within the context of other texts. It is frustrating how much of a range there is in its content. Maybe once the connections between story lines start becoming more clarified this will change…in the meantime, I guess I should just keep reading to find out!