It’s All About the Timing
In The Familiar, Danielewski made the deliberate choice to choose a specific time frame for the book to take place. I’ve found this choice to be incredibly rare, because most authors aim to produce a piece that’s timeless. When you anchor your work to a specific time, some may argue that you’re limiting the potential relationship between the reader and the book. Let’s just look at Back to the Future: Part II. It became a running joke once 2015 hit that we didn’t have the hoverboards that Marty McFly promised us. When we’re given such specific details like actual days, months, and years, it’s almost like we want to find holes. We want to pick fights and say that the idea of this program in our time is ludicrous. We like to argue and pick things apart in a society where nothing is ever enough, so why would Danielewski invite these criticisms into his world when he could have easily kept the time period to himself? Dates are usually reserved for journals and letters, so why would Danielewski make this exception?