This book is one of the most interesting and challenging pieces of literature that I have been confronted with thus far.  There are over 90 constraints for writing this book I have been told and after reading only a few pages, those constraints are making themselves visible.  Everything in this book seems to be written backwards in a sense and overlaps in a way.  The story told is exactly the same minus the fact that it is told from two different perspectives.  Sam and Hailey are very similar in the way that they tell the story and often got confusing.  This confusion slowly left me, however, as I became more and more engrossed in their story.

The first constraint that I noticed was that in order to read any of the words on the front and back (inside) cover, you need to use a mirror.  This is a very interesting rule that I did not even notice until reading the book many times.  I suddenly examined the strange looking language and realized what it was; the language of the mirrors!

The second constraint that I noticed was that one the front and back cover (inside), lists words in alphabetical order.  The words are all facing in two very distinct directions in order to make up many “circles” along the cover.  These words differ in font size and style and are unexplained.  They all seem to form together in order to create a “full” image.

The third constraint that I noticed in this book was the fact that pictures on the inside cover of the book were all either of animals, plants, or of circular objects.  I am not sure if that is a constraint but is just something that I happened to notice.  This book is full of circles/revolutions and is not confined just to the “circles” we see but also to the revolutions that happen in our lives.  Life is one big revolution and I believe this to be a very big part of this novel.  Besides for the revolutions, another thing that I noticed while reading this book was that many ideas are on the same page twice.  For instance, on pages 143/218, both Sam and Hailey mention the others eye color even though these parts do not correspond in the novel.  I plan on coming back to this blog post in order to add more substance and to add on to my constraints.

-Billy Ricketts-


~ by billyricketts on February 18, 2011.

2 Responses to “Revolutions”

  1. Overall, this is an interesting post to read and you did a good job of finding three constraints that weren’t mentioned before. If you were to edit this post, however, I’d suggest the following:

    The first two constraints about the inside covers are interesting. It actually took me awhile to even notice them myself. I was paying more attention to the pages and didn’t take the time to even notice the inside covers, but they’re an important part of the book and it’s cool that you mentioned them. You did a good job of describing what the constraints are and what they do, but maybe you could elaborate a little more on the way they actually look. For example, you could list some of the words that are used on the inside covers, and maybe talk about why you think they differ in style and are left unexplained.

    The third constraint you mentioned about the pictures is also interesting, although I’m not sure it can be considered a constraint. You might have to argue why you think it’s one. I think you’re onto something with the comment you made about all the circles and revolutions in the book, and I really like how you connected it with a larger theme, so maybe you could focus more on that and how it could be a constraint rather than the pictures on the inside cover.

    I think that you’ll probably have more to say about this when you’re finished with the book. I know I had a problem figuring out the significance of a certain constraint when I still had half the book left to read, so I’d suggest coming back when you’re finished and adding any further thoughts you have about how these constraints were used as a set of rules, or created a certain pattern (like the parallel structure you mentioned on mages 143/218).

    -Julie Howell

  2. I think Julie posted an adequate, well thought out to Billy’s original post. She approached her critique in sequential order which makes it east to follow. In each paragraph she identifies the positive points of Billy’s analysis of the constraint, as well as the negative. For example, in regard to the first constraint, she pointed out that Billy highlighted interesting points about the inside covers, but could have done more by providing examples.

    She offers Billy a useful suggestion — come back to the post when you finish the entire book — that will help him flesh out his argument that something actually is a constraint. Although her response is certainly helpful, it could be more critically objective by using less personal pronouns such as “I” and “you.” It was not our task to tell the author how to better his or her post, but to critically analyze how it addressed the given prompt.

    – Jen Hirsch

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