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Re: Check-in / THE END: An Intro

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  • Mal McCormack
    I m late in on this, must have been sleeping when I wasn t watching. Fascinating stuff from Brian there, I m still digesting it and thanks. Anyway, OWTS! I for
    Message 1 of 24 , Oct 1, 2002
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      I'm late in on this, must have been sleeping when I wasn't watching.

      Fascinating stuff from Brian there, I'm still digesting it and thanks.
      Anyway, OWTS!

      I for one can take or leave spoilers. For the meantime I'm leaving
      them, because tho' I've indeed read it before I'm on this occasion
      imagining I haven't which puts me into the eerie state of having no
      remembrance of it at all (the Politician's Defense).

      For me "Check-In" is very comfy, I'm a big Club Med fan. Who says
      there's anything wrong with Tropical Paradise? But are the
      Storyteller (no-"") and His Companion (-"") there, in situ? It's not
      entirely clear. As Spoiling Mark has said they may be really there
      and really them, but I fancy what we have here are the testy
      ruminations of Author and Muse. Author is making all the effort here
      and Muse is being a bit of a sarcastic devil's advocate, which is what
      Muses do sometimes, maybe, if it's that time of the epic cycle,
      perhaps.

      Obviously somewhere in the Story there's a masculine difficulty of a
      terminal type and we're bashed a bit over the head with impending
      gravity. But I'm confused -- on page 5 the "Good omen" remark from
      (-"") is inexplicably transposed to, ah, well, *her*. Now, is that 2
      or 3 powers of narrative separation?

      I mean, -- it's only a story after all.

      Damn. I'll have to go back to the beginning.

      Mal.
    • Mark Brawner
      ... really them, but I fancy what we have here are the testy ruminations of Author and Muse. Author is making all the effort here and Muse is being a bit of a
      Message 2 of 24 , Oct 1, 2002
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        Mal wrote:

        >As Spoiling Mark has said they may be really there and
        really them, but I fancy what we have here are the testy
        ruminations of Author and Muse. Author is making all the
        effort here and Muse is being a bit of a sarcastic devil's
        advocate, which is what Muses do sometimes, maybe, if it's
        that time of the epic cycle, perhaps.

        Heh... I like it... it fits. Whether I'm right or wrong,
        I wonder if you all are like me in wanting to get a
        picture of the ground situation fairly early. Maybe I'm
        unduly afraid of readerly vertigo or somehthing. I think
        I called this 'searching for narrative ground zero' in our
        TTT discussion. Martin said, probably rightly, that I was
        searching in vain in that instance.

        >Obviously somewhere in the Story there's a masculine
        difficulty of a
        terminal type and we're bashed a bit over the head with
        impending
        gravity.

        I didn't think it was clear from Check-in whether it's he
        or she that has the difficulty.

        >But I'm confused -- on page 5 the "Good omen" remark from
        (-"") is inexplicably transposed to, ah, well, *her*. Now,
        is that 2
        or 3 powers of narrative separation?

        I'll have to look at that again, cause now you've got *me*
        confused. JB would be pleased.

        ________________________________________________
        Don't E-Mail, ZipMail! http://www.zipmail.com/
      • Mal McCormack
        ... Quite right, now I ve re-read. If anything, it looks suspiciously like *She*: She s not up for a dip ; How s her appetite? ; ...but one of them doesn t
        Message 3 of 24 , Oct 2, 2002
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          --- In johnbarth@y..., "Mark Brawner" <markbrawner@z...> wrote:


          > I didn't think it was clear from Check-in whether it's he
          > or she that has the difficulty.

          Quite right, now I've re-read. If anything, it looks suspiciously
          like *She*: "She's not up for a dip"; "How's her appetite?"; "...but
          one of them doesn't have the strength for it . . . she stops at a
          water-facing bench"; "She's too pooped to argue." Moreover it's
          traditional for the invalid to be told the story, not to be tasked
          with the telling.
          All we're told about *him* is that his buns are dragging -- an
          affliction not generally regarded as fatal.

          Hmm. Perhaps my present reading has been poisoned by previous ones,
          protestations of unremembrance notwithstanding. My apologies.

          If this is narrative ground like you wanted, it's pretty marshy stuff.

          Mal.
        • Mal McCormack
          Re my last post -- It s just struck me that all that stuff could merely (merely!?) be a cunning literary counterpoint, a tease. M.
          Message 4 of 24 , Oct 2, 2002
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            Re my last post --

            It's just struck me that all that stuff could merely (merely!?) be a
            cunning literary counterpoint, a tease.

            M.
          • agrimorfee
            ... Still, would JB be THAT sardonic and cunning, I mean, to lead people on to a depressing plotline about terminal illness and double suicide and then pull
            Message 5 of 24 , Oct 2, 2002
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              --- In johnbarth@y..., "Mal McCormack" <annemac@a...> wrote:
              > Re my last post --
              >
              > It's just struck me that all that stuff could merely (merely!?) be a
              > cunning literary counterpoint, a tease.
              >
              > M.

              Still, would JB be THAT sardonic and cunning, I mean, to lead people
              on to a depressing plotline about terminal illness and double suicide
              and then pull the rug out from under Reader?
            • Brawner, Mark
              ... (- ) is inexplicably transposed to, ah, well, *her*. Now, is that 2 or 3 powers of narrative separation? I looked at this again, Mal, and I m still not
              Message 6 of 24 , Oct 2, 2002
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                RE: [johnbarth] Re: Check-in / THE END: An Intro

                >But I'm confused -- on page 5 the "Good omen" remark from
                (-"") is inexplicably transposed to, ah, well, *her*.  Now, is that 2
                or 3 powers of narrative separation?

                I looked at this again, Mal, and I'm still not sure what you're asking.  How is the "Good Omen" comment any different that any of the other comments she makes?  What do you mean it's 'transposed' to her?


              • Derik
                Sorry I haven t gotten in on the discussion yet. I don t really have anything to say about the start though. Maybe once we get further in the early sections
                Message 7 of 24 , Oct 2, 2002
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                  Sorry I haven't gotten in on the discussion yet.

                  I don't really have anything to say about the start though. Maybe once we
                  get further in the early sections will be a little more clear.

                  Derik A. Badman.

                  ---

                  "Stop living and read!" - Fernando Pessoa

                  "Endings, to be useful, must be inconclusive." - Samuel R. Delany

                  "The world is richer in associations than meanings, and ... it is the part
                  of wisdom to distinguish between the two." - John Barth
                • Mark Brawner
                  On Wed, 02 Oct 2002 16:04:52 -0000 ... I feel like such a nag, but I don t seem to understand anyone s posts very well. Maybe I ve been eating too many paint
                  Message 8 of 24 , Oct 2, 2002
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                    On Wed, 02 Oct 2002 16:04:52 -0000
                    "agrimorfee" <agrimorfee@...> wrote:
                    >--- In johnbarth@y..., "Mal McCormack" <annemac@a...>
                    > wrote:
                    >> Re my last post --
                    >>
                    >> It's just struck me that all that stuff could merely
                    > (merely!?) be a
                    >> cunning literary counterpoint, a tease.
                    >>
                    >> M.
                    >
                    >Still, would JB be THAT sardonic and cunning, I mean, to
                    > lead people
                    >on to a depressing plotline about terminal illness and
                    > double suicide
                    >and then pull the rug out from under Reader?

                    I feel like such a nag, but I don't seem to understand
                    anyone's posts very well. Maybe I've been eating too many
                    paint chips. So: whaddya mean? Like Barth somehow
                    indicating in effect, "just kidding. . .everyone's in
                    robust health"? Or are you asking whether he's
                    deliberately keeping us guessing about which one is sick?
                    Neither? Something else?

                    Ploddingly,
                    Mark
                    ________________________________________________
                    Don't E-Mail, ZipMail! http://www.zipmail.com/
                  • Mal McCormack
                    ... This is fabulous. It s only 5 1/2 pages and already we re irritated and ready to set at one another s throat. I have good feelings about this reading.
                    Message 9 of 24 , Oct 3, 2002
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                      --- In johnbarth@y..., "Mark Brawner" <markbrawner@z...> wrote:
                      > On Wed, 02 Oct 2002 16:04:52 -0000
                      >
                      > I feel like such a nag, but I don't seem to understand
                      > anyone's posts very well.

                      This is fabulous. It's only 5 1/2 pages and already we're irritated
                      and ready to set at one another's throat. I have good feelings about
                      this reading.

                      Indulge me pro tem in my imagining of Author and Muse (they do seem
                      like god-figures, even this early, playing, and not crushinghly
                      sympathetically at that, with us poor fictional humans just for their
                      own idle amusement. Very Greek.)

                      So far, everything in quote is *Muse* and more or less observational,
                      or at least sullenly suggestive. But the comment "Good omen", it
                      seems to me, has been immediately attributed/transferred to
                      *her-chez-Club-Med*, with less than perfect emotional results. Hence
                      the 2 or 3 powers etc. question.

                      We have the *A* Author (JB) invoking another (let's say *B* Author, as
                      yet and probably never further named) provoking his Muse to observe
                      "Good omen" which *B* Author then invisibly but materially insinuates
                      into the conversation of our poor all-too-human couple. 2 or 3? Oh
                      dear.

                      Ah well. I think I'm losing it a litle here and not for the first
                      time. Mark will understand and forgive, because he knows my Thursday
                      schedule.

                      Can't wait to get stuck into THE END:An Introduction

                      M.
                    • Derik
                      Mark, you re not the only one who is confused. I read it as a couple. The man is telling the story (which is why he is not in quotes) and the woman is in
                      Message 10 of 24 , Oct 3, 2002
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                        Mark, you're not the only one who is confused.

                        I read it as a couple. The man is telling the story (which is why he is
                        not in quotes) and the woman is in quotes since she is not writing it. The
                        wife can double as Muse, I guess.

                        I don't understand where it gest more complicated than that.

                        Derik A. Badman.

                        ---

                        "Stop living and read!" - Fernando Pessoa

                        "Endings, to be useful, must be inconclusive." - Samuel R. Delany

                        "The world is richer in associations than meanings, and ... it is the part
                        of wisdom to distinguish between the two." - John Barth
                      • agrimorfee
                        ... Mark riposted So: whaddya mean? Like Barth somehow ... I am wonderin if JB would be saying, just kidding, eveyon es in robust health..
                        Message 11 of 24 , Oct 3, 2002
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                          --- In johnbarth@y..., "Mark Brawner" <markbrawner@z...> wrote:
                          > On Wed, 02 Oct 2002 16:04:52 -0000
                          > "agrimorfee" <agrimorfee@h...> wrote:
                          > >Still, would JB be THAT sardonic and cunning, I mean, to
                          > > lead people
                          > >on to a depressing plotline about terminal illness and
                          > > double suicide
                          > >and then pull the rug out from under Reader?
                          >
                          Mark riposted >So: whaddya mean? Like Barth somehow
                          > indicating in effect, "just kidding. . .everyone's in
                          > robust health"? Or are you asking whether he's
                          > deliberately keeping us guessing about which one is sick?
                          > Neither? Something else?

                          I am wonderin' if JB would be saying, "just kidding, eveyon'es in
                          robust health.."
                        • agrimorfee
                          ... everything in quote is *Muse* and more or less observational, ... Hence ... as ... insinuates ... Now I M the one who is confused.
                          Message 12 of 24 , Oct 3, 2002
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                            --- In johnbarth@y..., "Mal McCormack" <annemac@a...> wrote:
                            > Indulge me pro tem in my imagining of Author and Muse (> So far,
                            everything in quote is *Muse* and more or less observational,
                            > or at least sullenly suggestive. But the comment "Good omen", it
                            > seems to me, has been immediately attributed/transferred to
                            > *her-chez-Club-Med*, with less than perfect emotional results.
                            Hence
                            > the 2 or 3 powers etc. question.>
                            > We have the *A* Author (JB) invoking another (let's say *B* Author,
                            as
                            > yet and probably never further named) provoking his Muse to observe
                            > "Good omen" which *B* Author then invisibly but materially
                            insinuates
                            > into the conversation of our poor all-too-human couple. 2 or 3? Oh
                            > dear.

                            Now I'M the one who is confused.
                          • Brawner, Mark
                            ... From: agrimorfee [mailto:agrimorfee@hotmail.com] Sent: Thursday, October 03, 2002 9:54 AM To: johnbarth@yahoogroups.com Subject: [johnbarth] Re: Check-in /
                            Message 13 of 24 , Oct 3, 2002
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                              RE: [johnbarth] Re: Check-in / THE END: An Intro

                              -----Original Message-----
                              From: agrimorfee [mailto:agrimorfee@...]
                              Sent: Thursday, October 03, 2002 9:54 AM
                              To: johnbarth@yahoogroups.com
                              Subject: [johnbarth] Re: Check-in / THE END: An Intro

                              >I am wonderin' if JB would be saying, "just kidding, eveyon'es in
                              robust health.."

                              Gotcha.  I don't think that turns out to be the case.

                            • Brawner, Mark
                              ... as ... insinuates ... I looked at it again and I think what Mal s pointing out is that the Good omen comment is the first one given an attribution: That
                              Message 14 of 24 , Oct 3, 2002
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                                RE: [johnbarth] Re: Check-in / THE END: An Intro

                                Mal wrote:

                                > We have the *A* Author (JB) invoking another (let's say *B* Author,
                                as
                                > yet and probably never further named) provoking his Muse to observe
                                > "Good omen" which *B* Author then invisibly but materially
                                insinuates
                                > into the conversation of our poor all-too-human couple.  2 or 3?  Oh
                                > dear.

                                Ag wrote:

                                >Now I'M the one who is confused.

                                I looked at it again and I think what Mal's pointing out is that the "Good omen" comment is the first one given an attribution:

                                        That casual-ironic remark of hers, made as they leave the great airy informal dining hall.

                                So we can imagine it thus:  the narrator's partner/muse says "Good omen" and the narrator improvises it immediately into the mouth of his female character.  So, on that view it's not another 'degree of narrative separation,' as Mal called it, but rather just a playful transition from muse to character.  That is, we've still got just two degrees:  couple telling story about couple (unless we want to include Barth himself, which makes it three degrees)]. 

                                Clear as mud?


                              • Brawner, Mark
                                ... From: Mal McCormack [mailto:annemac@alphalink.com.au] Sent: Thursday, October 03, 2002 5:46 AM To: johnbarth@yahoogroups.com Subject: [johnbarth] Re:
                                Message 15 of 24 , Oct 3, 2002
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                                  RE: [johnbarth] Re: Check-in / THE END: An Intro

                                  -----Original Message-----
                                  From: Mal McCormack [mailto:annemac@...]
                                  Sent: Thursday, October 03, 2002 5:46 AM
                                  To: johnbarth@yahoogroups.com
                                  Subject: [johnbarth] Re: Check-in / THE END: An Intro

                                  >This is fabulous.  It's only 5 1/2 pages and already we're irritated
                                  and ready to set at one another's throat.  I have good feelings about
                                  this reading.

                                  Me too.  (I'm especially pleased that I'm able to keep up this time!) 

                                  >Indulge me pro tem in my imagining of Author and Muse (they do seem
                                  like god-figures, even this early, playing, and not crushinghly
                                  sympathetically at that, with us poor fictional humans just for their
                                  own idle amusement.  Very Greek.)

                                  Yes, no problem here; this observation delighted me last time.  Thanks for putting a finer point on it.

                                • agrimorfee
                                  ... As maple syrup...:)
                                  Message 16 of 24 , Oct 3, 2002
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                                    --- In johnbarth@y..., "Brawner, Mark" <mark.brawner@p...> wrote:
                                    > Clear as mud?

                                    As maple syrup...:)
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