Monday, May 22, 2006

Geometric frustration

More than one month later, I am still chiselling away at Paul Glennon's Oulipean inspired work, The Dodecahedron. As the stories build upon each other, I await some sort of resolution, though Glennon states in his afterword that I will receive no such thing. I get a little thrill each time a new story unveils a semblance of some previous story, but then remember that the inherent disconnect between the anecdotes will preclude any ultimate revelation, despite common threads that run through the book as a whole. It is unclear to me why I crave a resolution so, though the closest I can come to an explanation is that I have been trained as a reader to expect one. Only Glennon is in possession of answers, presumably having deconstructed the dodecahedron from whole in order to display the individual frames. Truly, elucidation lies only in the re-construction of the frames into their original geometrical shape. Even then, nothing more tangible than geometric frustration ensues. All of these considerations render me reluctant to forge ahead to the finish. Perhaps reading the afterword was a mistake. It is curious that Glennon chose to divulge this information at the end of the book. He ostensibly had an inkling that such an admission would deter readers from proceeding: grasping the essence of a work that is a throwback to the French literary movement, Oulipo could be intimidating.

The whole endeavour has allowed me to conceptualize how other frameworks might be utilized in the writing of experimental fiction: idea maps, for one. Post-it notes on a wall could prove invaluable in this regard.

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