Spin, Spin, Spin

Of all the books I’ve ever read for any academic reason, Only Revolutions has to be one of the most fascinating. I have never read anything like it, in print or online.

Right, now that I’ve gotten my affection out of the way, onto the analysis:

The first and strongest constraint I noticed is that instead of writing words “alright” or “alone,” Danielewski writes “allright” and “allone.” Instead of alone meaning “by one’s self,” it now gives the impression of everything being united together–“all one.” That is a very stark contrast from what the word “alone” originally means.

The second constraint I noticed was, at first, not really something I paid much attention to. I noticed that each person’s story started with the first letter of the other person’s. I did’t know what this mean, but I knew that in a novel like this, it had to mean something. I didn’t catch onto the trend that every 8 pages spelled out “SAM AND HAILEY” until I was very far in. I also noticed that the first letter of each word is in a larger font than the others. So really big Ss, As, and Hs every 8 pages.

Now, this third constraint’s been causing me a headache, because I see a very obvious pattern, but I can’t figure out what the exact equation is. There are strong similarities between words in the 15th/16th lines of certain pages. It doesn’t have to do with multiples, I figured that out, and it doesn’t have to do with even/odd page numbers, either. But one thing I did notice is word-exclusion: if Sam uses a certain word, Hailey’s part of the story can’t use it. The first example I noticed was that Sam can only use the word start, and Hailey can only use the word begin. I noticed this pattern in those 15th/16th lines…but I still can’t figure out what the exact algorithm is, I just know it’s there…and that is beyond frustrating.

– Joe DeMarini


~ by theamnesiac1 on February 17, 2011.

2 Responses to “Spin, Spin, Spin”

  1. the three constraints are interesting.
    However, could write more about why you think the author had these constraints , or how do these constraints affect the readers( which you did for the 1st constraint).

  2. Since I am commenting on the previous comment, do not take this as a comment for this post.
    Previous commenter, I believe that your comment requires some elaboration. Perhaps you could give the original poster some suggestions about how you believe he could improve his post. I realize that this may be difficult considering the depth of the original poster’s analysis and his admission to not being able to understand one of his constraints. I think that you should additionally mention what parts of his post you thought was interesting and why. I also think that Joe at least partially answered how the constraint affected him when he talked about being frustrated with the novel.

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