It turns out that I don’t have time for a big long well-thought-out post on this week’s milestone. So I’m just going to lob some questions out there and let the comments write the post for me.
Why are hamburgers referred to as “hamburgs” (and as “hamburg-sauce spaghetti”)? Does anybody say that really? Is this maybe one of those little things designed to yank us out of the narrative?
How, on page 470, can Steeply have his hands “clasped before his back”? The voice here is possibly that pseudo-Marathe/Quebecer voice, but this just doesn’t seem like the kind of error somebody would really make.
Did you notice that Steeply talks about rats being used to experiment with the p-terminal thing? And how he previously (429) brought up rats in the context of basically behaviorism and teaching people not to get addicted to things? And how Gately feels like a rat as he contemplates the whole higher power thing (443)?
As Gately contemplates the baggy sky (478) through the big windshield of the Aventura after contemplating talking to the ceiling, did you find yourself thinking back to a weird little reference to Herman the Ceiling that Breathed from one of Gately’s childhood homes (447)?
When you read about the “curved and planar mirrors at studied angles whereby each part of the room is reflected in every other part” (482), did you find yourself feeling like maybe this was sort of a little metaphor for the novel itself? If so, do you make anything of the fact that once Lucien is scrambling away from the AFR agents, this setup, designed originally to disorient those who come into the store, proves disorienting for him and ultimately helpful for the sort of people it would seem to have been designed to disorient? Ahem.
What’s with the weird masks the AFR agents are wearing? I’m not under the impression that this is SOP for them. Maybe it has to do with the silly pranks the Antitoi brothers pulled and is a sort of mockery.
Why does the narrator go on and on about the thread caught on the sight of Lucien’s gun?
Is there a good reason to associate Lucien with Mario by describing the broom he’s impaled on as “puncturing tile and floor at a police-lock’s canted angle” (488)? I think there may be more ore to mine here. Both characters are sort of innocent and simple and damaged, for example. And both wind up having something sort of almost messianic about them — or are reborn in a way, at least.
On 483 and 495, we have more instances of wobbling, which Infinite Detox has already addressed in some depth. Will he have more to say? (Sorry, I know that was a cheap way to sneak in a question.) There’s lots of rotation and even some concavity and convexity in this section featuring a young JOI.
Do you know anything about Powell’s Peeping Tom, posters of which JOI has on his boyhood bedroom walls? If not, you should read up.