As is everyone else, I'm reading it, having begun tonight. I note three things straight off:
- The tray described on p 34, which a person fits "over his head so that his shoulders support the tray and allow it to project into space just below his chin, that he may enjoy his hot dinner without having to remove his eyes from whatever entertainment is up and playing", was also described in MAD Magazine in the 50s or early 60s. Basil Wolverton illustrated it, doing the concept the justice that only someone with a keen sense of the possibilities for disgustingness eating affords could. (Another with this sense: Sergio Leone, as illustrated by the opening closeups of the well-to-do eating in the coach, in Duck You Sucker!.)
- There occurs on p 36 an instance of "reason is because". Anathema!
- I knew there were footnotes, of course, or rather, endnotes, but it had not occurred to me to ask, what are the conditions of possibility for endnotes in a novel, especially a, shall we say, narratologically modern one, with multiple focalizing consciousnesses? I mean: what voice the endnoter, and how comes it into the (here rather literally) text? Were this one of those novels very anxious about its novelhood, the sort with a preface in which someone tells the reader how he chanced on the chronicle herein related and arranged these letters or edited this diary or what-have-you, then there is a clear place for notes (but then such novels are also often not that rhetorically complex at the sentence level, as to f.i.d. and whatnot).—a so-called postmodern novel anxious about its being a novel?! Sure, it sounds mundane when you put it that way, but I'm still puzzled about the whole notes thing at all. Of course, I'm hardly any distance in. But something to attend to, nevertheless. (Also interesting: flipping backwards through the notes to get to the first I remarked that the numbered endnotes have lettered notes themselves, which are not only not even-endernotes, but also not even footnotes, coming not at the bottom of the page but rather indented at the bottom of the note to which they are pendant, or at the bottom of the page if the note continues onto the next page. They are as close to the material for which they serve as notes as they could be, while the endnotes are as far as possible as they could be, if we observe the requirement that the position of endnotes increase monotonically. (As opposed to a nonmonotonic increase? I guess 1, 2, 4, 3, 5 increases nonmonotonically.)) What's curiouser of course is that the section containing the endnotes assures me that it contains not only endnotes, as it is titled
- "Notes and Errata". Errata? What's up with that? Was the section just called "Notes" in the first printing? I presume not. Of course the point of an errata slip or page is that one can correct the text without altering it, something one would be glad of if altering the text meant laying out the type anew; this was presumably not a relevant concern by the time IJ came to be printed, nor would it make sense to include such a thing in the text all along, I mean, if it actually did note errata which were not erranda but corrigenda. (Question: does "erranda" ever make sense, straight?) Such thoughts could occur to one who an errata section of this sort even in a work of nonfiction; I'm not sure if there are additional questions given that here it appears in a novel or not, but they are additional to those noted immediately supra.