Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Re: Dhalgren's first and last line

Expand Messages
  • barry7
    ... . . . snip . . . ... i suppose we might eventually end up with The Bellona Quartet , which could be a worthwhile read. by the way, although no one took me
    Message 1 of 15 , May 4 12:20 PM
    • 0 Attachment
      --- In delany-list@yahoogroups.com, "Ron Henry" <ron.henry@...> wrote:
      >
      > On 5/1/06, Dan'l Danehy-Oakes <katbarx@...> wrote:
      >
      . . . snip . . .


      > > It _would_ be interesting to see the female "version" of the story.
      >
      > Agreed. Millie or Denny's girlfriend would be the most immediate
      > candidates to come to my mind for that narrative. Lanya... well, she
      > is too thoroughly explored in Kidd's narrative, seems like -- in some
      > ways she is largely a product of his interests, needs, and desires,
      > and doesn't have that much of an independent existence. (Though I
      > suppose if her perspective were narrated well it would provide an
      > interesting lesson in subjectivity and difference in perspective.)
      >
      > --
      > Ron Henry | ron.henry@...
      >

      i suppose we might eventually end up with "The Bellona Quartet", which
      could be a worthwhile read.

      by the way, although no one took me up on my request to see if anyone
      was attending the Delany session at Duke last Sunday, my plans changed
      at the last minute and i was able to attend. I will, over the next
      month or so, put a transcript together from the tape i made, if anyone
      is interested something like that.

      Delany read from the opening passage of "The Star Pit," which i
      enjoyed immensely, before conversing with John Kessel and members of
      the audience.

      barry
    • Seth Tisue
      ... Ray Yes, that s my preferred interpretation as well. I want to chime in and say that this is also how I ve always interpreted the book. OK, not always: I
      Message 2 of 15 , May 11 7:50 AM
      • 0 Attachment
        >>>>> "Ray" == Ray Davis <yahRayDavis@...> writes:

        Ray> At 10:07 AM 4/11/2006, Dan'l Danehy-Oakes wrote:
        >> H'mmm. My current model of _Dhalgren_ is almost the opposite of
        >> realism -- I think that the Kidd is precisely contained in and
        >> exactly constrained by the text. This explains, for example, the
        >> kid's odd lapses of memory. When something is skipped over by the
        >> narrator -- as is perfectly normal in a novel -- then he has no
        >> memory of it, because, for him as for us, it never happened.

        Ray> Yes, that's my preferred interpretation as well.

        I want to chime in and say that this is also how I've always interpreted
        the book. OK, not always: I think it dawned on me the third or fourth
        time I read it. Another way of putting it is that the Kid isn't *aware*
        of being a character in a novel, but rather experiences the *effects* of
        being such a character. (Meanwhile everyone else, like characters in
        normal novels, is oblivious to these effects and thinks Kid is
        crazy...!) It's a wonderful (and often very comic) critical laying-bare
        of how novelistic worlds differ systematically from real ones. But then
        Delany goes beyond that and has Kid experience effects not just of being
        in a novel, but being in a novel in the process of being written, that
        is, undergoing revisions and multiple drafts. I felt that once I had
        understood this, suddenly dozens of apparently completely disparate and
        inexplicable-seeming things about the book started to make sense,
        although I'm sure there's much I have yet to understand.

        --
        Seth Tisue | seth@...
        http://tisue.net | http://www.flickr.com/photos/tisue/
      • Dan'l Danehy-Oakes
        ... Exactly so. Well put! _Dhalgren_ is not a fourth-wall comedy, but an exploration... ... ...which ties back to the quotation at the book s beginning: You
        Message 3 of 15 , May 11 3:44 PM
        • 0 Attachment
          >From: Seth Tisue <seth@...>

          >Another way of putting it is that the Kid isn't *aware*
          >of being a character in a novel, but rather experiences the *effects* of
          >being such a character.

          Exactly so. Well put! _Dhalgren_ is not a "fourth-wall" comedy, but an
          exploration...

          >of how novelistic worlds differ systematically from real ones

          ...which ties back to the quotation at the book's beginning: "You have
          confused the true with the real."

          >But then
          >Delany goes beyond that and has Kid experience effects not just of being
          >in a novel, but being in a novel in the process of being written, that
          >is, undergoing revisions and multiple drafts.

          Interesting, and I'll have to look at this in my next reading.

          On the other hand, I have a feeling that in the final (notebook section,
          Kidd does become, at least partly, aware of what's going on -- he
          seems to address his author directly in the passage leading up to
          "holland and the hills," no?

          It's interesting, incidentally, to compare some of this with the
          ending of another great-but-maddening urban fantasia that came
          out the same year as _Dhalgren_: Genesis' "concept album,"
          _The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway_. In a way, the story of
          _Lamb_ is a negative of that of _Dhalgren_: a halfbreed kid who
          lives in a well-defined city (New York) finds himself in a decidedly
          _non_-urban environment, where he has all sorts of weird and
          hard to decipher encounters and adventures, ending with an
          encounter with his brother, who turns out to be himself. I don't
          want to draw out all the antiparallels right now, but the text
          that comes with the album ends thus:

          --> Rael cannot look away from those eyes, mesmerized by his
          --> own image. In a quick movement, his consciousness darts
          --> from one face to the other, then back again, until his presence
          --> is no longer solidly contained in one or the other. In this fluid
          --> state he observes both bodies outlined in yellow and the
          --> surrounding scenery melting into a purple haze. With a sudden
          --> rush of energy up both spinal columns, their bodies, as well,
          --> finally dissolve into the haze. All this takes place without a single
          --> sunset, without a single bell ringing and without a single
          --> blossom falling from the sky. Yet it fills everything with its
          mysterious
          --> intoxicating presence. It's over to you.

          I doubt that Delany and Peter Gabriel (who wrote both this
          text and most of the lyrics for _Lamb_) were even aware of
          each others' existence at the time; it seems that there was
          just a _Zeitgeist_ that produced this unrelated-but-related
          (synchronicity) texts in two very different artists, working in
          two different media on two different continents...

          --Dan'l
        Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.