- "Are you clear about the distance between you and these stories?" Is this a valid question, despite Yambo's argument that he's not crazy? On the other side of the equation, how might recounting the stories as he is to children and grandchildren be perhaps a better way to spark the flame than simply rereading them alone in the attic?
- Why might pulp literature--or even Stevenson--be a better vehicle for the spark and flame than "Homer, Manzoni, and Flaubert"?
- "Radio, the voice that enchants"; "enchants," being, of course, the operative word.
- Tabula rasa is a Locke coinage, as far as I know. Certainly Yambo's slate has been razed, but is it true that by listening to his friend it's being spoiled by/with another's memories?
- "Over the previous few days, I had been trying to imagine the divided self of a boy exposed to messages of national glory while at the same time daydreaming about the fogs of London, where he would encounter Fantômas battling Sandokan amid a hail of nailshot that ripped holes in the chests and tore off the arms and legs of Sherlock Holmes’s politely perplexed compatriots—and now here I was learning that in those same years the radio had been proposing as an ideal the life of a humble accountant who longed for nothing more than suburban tranquility" (emphasis added). Yambo seems to worry his way through this and subsequent paragraphs that all the varied media stimuli might have incited moral contradiction and confusion in his past self (though, interestingly, he seem to be observing or discovering his own past in the third person, but not necessarily as the past but as if it were presently happening). Is the massive exposure to media such a problem as Yambo imagines it to be? Why might he be worried about it at all, as that boy from the past is him, and, well, hasn't he turned out all right--except for this whole amnesia thing, of course?
- So why is it so vital that he find his old schoolbooks?
- The woman ("like a saxophone in heat" ... uh, whoa!) in the lyric recalls a bit the women of the cocoa and antacid tins from the previous chapter. Obviously women play/ed a big role in Yambo's life, but what, by evidence here and elsewhere, do you supposed that role really is?
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Tuesday, March 22, 2011
The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana IX -- chapter 8: PULP FICTION and other POP FROM THE PAST
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