Archive by Author | Chris

Narcons and Art Speigleman: Readers Beware

Narcons are the editing characters in The Familiar. Art Speigleman is the author and illustrator of Maus and therefore the editor. While Art Speigleman is a real character in the real world, he is also the main character in the graphic novel. So the Narcons edit the narrative as it is happening but Speigleman edits his narrative to influences his readers as well.

The levels of narration:

Speigleman is the writer/illistraor of the novel.

Speigleman is the main character of the book.

Speigleman the character mentions Speigleman the author, breaking the forth wall and revealing inner thoughts of the author.

Therefor the main character is unreliable because he is influenced and edited to influence the reader.

The same applies to the Narcons in a way:

Mark Z. Danielewski is the author of the novel.

The Narcons  edit the narration and characters as the narration happens.

Narcons edit other Narcons.

The same applies. The Narcons, and therefore the characters, are unreliable due to the influence of the Narcons to influence the reader.

In both of these books, the readers must read with caution. The author of the texts uses narrative techniques to hide information and convey certain emotions, pushing readers in the narrative direction the author wants. This can be confusing to the readers if they do not do close readings. If reading too fast, the reader can miss key things, such as: The Familiar‘s link of the loss of Tai Li’s cat but the gain of Xanther’s cat. In Maus, when Art is on the porch with his wife and his father, an Auschwitz survivor, is moaning in his sleep, his wife comments how awful that must have been and Art sprays pesticide. The more appalling parallel is that they had just been speaking about the gas chambers of Auschwitz. If the reader simply reads through the text without doing close readings, they will be influenced by the editing characters and miss a few key facts and images. Readers beware and read with caution.

Advertisements

Symbolic Animals in the Familiar and Linda Hogan’s Power

First I almost titled this “Religious Animals …” however, both of these text have different religious overtures, and I did not want to directly relate the two due to their separate complexity. For example: in Linda Hogan’s Power the main characters are of the Taiga tribe. The tribe values panthers at their deities that created humanity and the nature that inhabit the world. The Familiar, as we should all be familiar with, has the spheres and narcons as God characters who supposedly edit reality as it happens. But the character within the text also hold a few animals as religious figures. Another example from this text is Tai Li’s reverence for owls when she is asked to heal a rich man’s son. In a way, Astair’s obsession with the Akita is a form of reverence and could be construed as religious due to the nature of her obsession. Much like any religious person, she says the Akita will improve her life by helping her get fit, it will give her peace of mind, and she has devoted a large sum of money into it.

How are these related?

These narratives are trying to put animals beside humans in the imaginary hierarchy created by humans, where as in today’s society, animals are in a kind of lower being category. Power presents the panther as a religious animal that helps humans and sacrifices themselves so that the human race can continue to thrive. Tai Li in The Familiar holds high regard for owls and a white cat that give her power. She uses the power given to her by the cat, and therefore respects the cat. The owl is unclear as of yet but is evidently important as the next book will start with the story from the point of view of the owl. Astair wants the Akita dog to become a part of the family and in return the dog will help out her daughter who has epilepsy. The key is helping each other out. Animals at our side rather than behind or under us in a hierarchy.

Kittens and Narcons, these are a few of my favorite things

This might be out of context, or it might be brilliant. I have no clue. I’ve seen a couple of people elude to it but not seen someone come out and say it: I think the kitten is a Narcon physical construct.

And here’s why:

Let’s start with the Narcons and their rules.

Parameter 1: MetaNarcons Do Not Exist.

Parameter 3: Narcons cannot interact with non-narcons. and vice-versa. No matter what.

Parameter 5: Form is not a narcon limit.

Facts:

The Narcon9 can lie. “last one… So okay, I was wrong. Not the last one. Sue me” (574-575).

Narcons can appear as animals. “Narcons can take on multiple shapes whether textual, musical…. Narcons may even appear as animals. Say a killer whale, boar, hyena, even a markhor, or an owl” (575) [By the way, the owl in the next book. hint hint. come on now. Tell me you saw that.] “This is often the case when personality factors determined to be significant are compressed in order to preserve future renderings of character.”

There is a form of meta Narcon that Narcon 9 is aware of but he lies to us in parameter one. “a superset [being Narcon 9] is always a subset [being the characters the Narcon 9 encompasses]. I’m the superset of my suvsets where I’m also an I. Just as I am a subset of a superset where I is also I.”

Trickster. Now let’s switch gears.

Remember Tian Li’s shadow cat that gave her magical healing powers? Anyone find it funny how is just up and disappears right before Xanther finds a kitten?

Okay so, here’s the theory a little bit more fleshed out. I’m supposing that Xanther is a special character. Obviously she needs a little healing. And maybe something in Xanther’s world needs preserving? So, I’m not suggesting Narcon9 but maybe a different Narcon that was helping Tian Li, took on a physical form of a kitten to preserve something in Xanther’s world and possibly healing Xanther?

It’s just a little connection I made. Hope you at least enjoyed reading it.

The Narcons

So, since we’ve started the book, I’ve found the “voices between the braille” otherwise known as the Narcons quite interesting. I’ve studied them since I noticed them correcting, editing, or commenting on the dialogue and narration. Even the characters’ narrator was revealed as TF-Narcon9. (564-576) Originally (around page 199 and 250) I got the idea that the “voices between the braille” (I hadn’t seen the font character list in the back of the book yet. [Maybe put it in the front, unless you {the author} don’t want it to be obvious?]) were characters that edited the actual characters within the book as events and dialogue were happening.

I found the dynamics described by Narcon 9 about other Narcons very interesting. And then developed the idea that it was a (young) early Narcon because it could barely hear the other Narcons who actually edited it. I also developed the impression that it was a girl for some reason. Then thought that the only reason the other Narcons could hear Narcon 9 was because they were possibly older.

I was a little proud of myself for even following this idea because I’ve even read a book remotely close to this. And I’m a little proud of myself for discovering truth in some of my theories. Not gonna lie though. Every thought I had, I rethought and tripple thought because what if I was being tricked into thinking my thoughts by Danielewski’s narration. Trickster. I almost went a little schizo there.