Scattered Thoughts Leaving Me With Scattered Thoughts (Sarah Bartling)

I won’t even attempt to avoid any more sea references to start off this post by saying I really felt like I took a dive into the depths of Eric Sanderson’s mind throughout the first half of this novel. Especially after Eric discovered the letter from the red cabinet, I began to read so intently that I took note of everything and anything Steven Hall seemed to be pointing out as hints or clues. I looked for hidden patterns as though I might be seeing right through an important piece of information. There is an amalgamation of ideas floating about my thoughts that seem necessary to include in this post. First off, Hall is a brilliant writer, no doubt about it. From the morse code keyboard to the letter bombs, I found myself continually enraptured by the intelligence of the novel and intrigued by the possible clues. I immediately searched for the words that “plants” had been substituted by in the Darwin pages, looked further into the Rorschach tests/Raw Shark text comparison (was Clio Aames supposed to sound out Cleomenes? Trey Fidorous to sound like Tryphidorus?), and paid close attention to concepts like anti-sound, unspace, black holes, Superstring Theory, and the Melissa Virus. One of the most attention-grabbing and astounding instances within the first 23 chapters was most certainly Eric’s encounter with Mr. Nobody, a conceptual human being who existed similarly to a conceptual fish, living off pills of human behavior instead of human memory. Scout is understandably a crucial presence for Eric, especially because of the similar personality traits and physical characteristics between her and Clio. Clio developed an attachment to this black and yellow chunky, underwater camera, and the first two colors Eric recognized about Scout were here yellow soles and her black hair. The most shocking similarity of all: the smiley face tattoo on Scout’s toe which Clio had contemplated getting, both individual’s liked the idea for the same reason. I’m guessing Scout’s condition and involvement with Mycroft Ward (Microsoft Word?) will reappear later, and I’m looking forward to learning more about her since she seems to have a good grasp on her past and maybe even Eric’s (her red notebook that he didn’t have the opportunity to read). I also believe it’s important to note Eric’s conversation with Scout on page 220 when he says “I’m sorry” while they’re discussing her sister, Polly, and she responds, “Why?…What did you do?” but the paragraph cuts off to the next part of their adventure. What could this possibly mean? What will happen to John and Ruth? What about the old man at the front door when the package arrived or the bleak Dean Rush? Where in the world is Gavin? Some of the thousand pressing questions I’ve found myself curious about thus far.

Though the novel is packed with clever codes and notions, the significance of Eric’s strong human emotions, the comedic relief of Scout and Ian, and kind Aunty Ruth in her wheelchair left me feeling more of a connection and strange reliability with the characters to the point where their safety, health, and happy outcomes become of great importance to me.

All of these scrambled memories and moments do remind me of HTML codes in the sense that when scattered, they are absurd and confusing, but when compiled, and I hope everything is eventually compiled for Eric Sanderson, they are bound and fit and present themselves clearly and almost perfectly on another page. [Now that Eric, Scout, and Ian have finally found Dr. Fidorous, I’m hoping that this HTML analogy also applies to the readers (our class) by the end of this novel…]

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~ by sabartie on January 13, 2013.

One Response to “Scattered Thoughts Leaving Me With Scattered Thoughts (Sarah Bartling)”

  1. This blog is well written in that it is an organic interpretation of a text that is (like the internet) a spastic, thrown-at-you-on-all-sides spur of information.

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