Every life has a nineteen [Spoilers]

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What Came Before

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« on: April 19, 2013, 01:28:04 pm »
Quote from: Madness
Some more food for thought. I'm sure those of you intrigued by our initial readings of Light, Time, and Gravity or any literature enthusiasts will appreciate how quickly this can get out of hand.

Let the games begin.

One of the hallmarks of Literature - capital for genre distinction - is ciphers and cryptography. I feel that Bakker plays with this trope consistently in all his books but immediately this conception comes to the fore of LTG. Bakker seems to write for specific audiences - we follow him across genres as far as his common ideas resonate with us - and LTG seems his Literature title. Since it's a common deception in Literature and one that is successful to the extant it is subtle and hidden, I thought I might take this as a frame for my perspective here.

Encouraging the premise of riddles is the fact of LTG's organization.

Firstly, and many readers on TPB seemed to do this, there is the option to read it as a style of choose your own adventure, really ride "your" personal reading experience to the extreme.

Secondly, there is the idea that the numbers could be rearranged. dietl first suggested on TPB that 19 was missing from Book One: Irrigation and that there are entries titled X. However, as I'll highlight later, there are a number of missing entries but it is impossible to "rearrange" them into a chronology because they are in fact missing - excepting the 19s.

Thirdly, you could rearrange the entries by the years they take place. This would probably give you the most complete alternate reading out of the entries - barring some sort of "correct" arrangement in answer to the riddles - but you'd still be at odds as to where to put the (Childhood), (Adolescence), (Indeterminate), (Inapplicable), and (Present).

Now I'm going to posit that Bakker is clever and intelligent and, likely, there is another complete reading of LTG.

So here are some haphazard scribbles. Please correct my mistakes in record and offer your own musings. I will try and include some linguistically motivated evidence for "twests," as our boy M. Night would say. I certainly have some ideas concerning Cutter, Dylan, It, and Suicide.

Cutter dies in 1986.
The Odometer reads 84001.
Dylan is 19.

Book One: Irrigation

Entry #2 is missing.
Entry #19 is missing.
Two Entry #X's between 88 and 89.
Entry #19 is the last entry of Book One and very ambiguously tantalizing.

The entries in Book One are dated 1975, 81, 84, 85, 88, 89, 94, 95, 2002, Childhood, Adolescence, Indeterminate, Inapplicable, and Present.

There are no footnotes in Book One.

Book Two: Harvest

Three Entry #X's between 2 and 3, 6 and 7, and 105 and 106.
Entry #19 is missing.
Entry #73 is missing.
Entry #82 is missing.
Entry #86 is missing.
Entry #88 is missing.
Entry #93 is missing.
Entry #110 is missing.
Entry #19 is the last entry of Book Two.

The entries in Book Two include the dates of Book One and introduce 1986, 96, and 97.

A specific Layer of Revelation to keep in mind upon any reread is the difference in perspectives before and after Cutter's murder. Also, we don't know when the (Present) entries were written - Dylan's Manuscript is published 2011 but the latest entry besides Present is '02.

Also, the last excerpt LTG XIII strikes me as strangely odd - the story veers quite suddenly as you realize that half of the perspectives were a murderer's. And why the introduction of the 84001 obsession?

Finally, there is the issue Callan brought up of just who wrote Susan Fennel's name on the manuscript "in a hand distinct from Dylan's own, no less."

My biggest question right now is why Dylan committed suicide pursuing the gestalt that Neil-It accomplishes in Neuropath?

Cheers. The day is young - shit weather - but I got to stay on the move. Will reconnect later.

What Came Before

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« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2013, 01:28:21 pm »
Quote from: Murphy
I like that someone else has started doing the spadework on this undoubtedly knotted novel.

Your sense that the last chapter feels strange is exactly the same as my own. My reading of it is that it might be, in part, a sort of pun - the story swerves, veers off the road, into murder, melodrama, a slightly pathetic version of the worm-turns revenge plot. There's a balancing act here. If the story of Dylan and Cutter ended with "Dylan gets beaten up and goes home trying not to cry", then we're left with a cheap and easy miserabilism. If, on the other hands, Dylan beats up Cutter and walks off, then we have a lame power-fantasy. To solve the impasse, the entire novel shifts genre into revenge-murder, with this squalid hit-and-run-years-later that avoids any lazy emotional satisfactions for the reader and in so doing, flips the meaning of the story on its head. So perhaps that yanking strangeness we feel is our sense of a different genre-code being imposed on this literary-genre work, the lit-genre being one that frowns on murder as a solution because it... belongs to a different genre.

Another issue is that Dylan being a murderer suddenly sets us free. We're off the hook. Here we are being condemned and goaded and insulted and now suddenly we're his moral superiors. And the reader sets a land-speed record for darting through the escape hatch this provides. This feels weird, too - the stakes change in the last few paragraphs, and they change, from an ego-selfish point of view, in our favor, which is the last ending any of us expected.

What Came Before

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« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2013, 01:28:42 pm »

Quote from: Callan S.
It seems odd to say it went into another genre. Seemed to go off road and hit a pedestrian just as much, rather than swerve into another lane. Just seemed to swerve into nothingness, yet not so far away from the road as to seem utterly nothingness.

On who wrote the collegues name, I wish I could say I thought it might be an 'it' version of Dylan (probably Neils handwriting changed upon his change), but I didn't write that down and now I wonder if I just made that up. When Cutter came up, I certainly centered there instead of the extreme chance, rather than really pursue any long shot theory.

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« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2013, 01:29:04 pm »
Quote from: Murphy
Yeah, it's a genre move. It's a revenge murder. You don't get a lot of them in literary fiction these days.

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« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2013, 01:29:20 pm »
Quote from: Jorge
Quote from: Murphy
I like that someone else has started doing the spadework on this undoubtedly knotted novel.

Your sense that the last chapter feels strange is exactly the same as my own. My reading of it is that it might be, in part, a sort of pun - the story swerves, veers off the road, into murder, melodrama, a slightly pathetic version of the worm-turns revenge plot. There's a balancing act here. If the story of Dylan and Cutter ended with "Dylan gets beaten up and goes home trying not to cry", then we're left with a cheap and easy miserabilism. If, on the other hands, Dylan beats up Cutter and walks off, then we have a lame power-fantasy. To solve the impasse, the entire novel shifts genre into revenge-murder, with this squalid hit-and-run-years-later that avoids any lazy emotional satisfactions for the reader and in so doing, flips the meaning of the story on its head. So perhaps that yanking strangeness we feel is our sense of a different genre-code being imposed on this literary-genre work, the lit-genre being one that frowns on murder as a solution because it... belongs to a different genre.

Another issue is that Dylan being a murderer suddenly sets us free. We're off the hook. Here we are being condemned and goaded and insulted and now suddenly we're his moral superiors. And the reader sets a land-speed record for darting through the escape hatch this provides. This feels weird, too - the stakes change in the last few paragraphs, and they change, from an ego-selfish point of view, in our favor, which is the last ending any of us expected.

That shit reminds me of the film Adaptation.

True story: me and two friends went to watch it at our college cinema, and during the part where the croc attacks the brother, we started cracking up because the movie was obviously 'adapting' itself into parody. The rest of theater seemed to be taking it so seriously that someone actually shouted 'quiet up front!'

People are ridiculous.

What Came Before

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« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2013, 01:29:34 pm »
Quote from: Murphy
Ridiculous and boundlessly adorable in their rich variety.