“We witnessed something only marginally mammalian in there, sir.”
We do not speak to each other, because we know too much – we keep silent to each other, we smile our knowladge to each other.
“Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul. Lo-lee-ta: the tip of the tongue taking a trip of three steps down the plate to tap, at three, on the teeth. Lo. Lee. Ta.”
Le, la, ti, so, si, ta, te, lo, li. Music. This is music. Just Nabokov playing piano and chess with the syllables at the same time. This needs no commetary. Read it again, read it aloud. Enjoy. And one more thing. It’s not even his first language, guy lived in Russia until the age of 20.
“Traps are laid, deals are set up, alliances are made and unmade in the stadium passageways, in the changing rooms, in the showers, in the mess halls. The most expirienced try to barter their good advice; a wrestler sells a favor: he’ll pretend to knock you out, you’ll be able to play deaduntill the starter’s pistol goes off.”
This part might be confusing at first. It’s just parital description of author’s imagined island. People who live there have only one occupation. They compete in sports. So while in our world Olympics are supposed to bring all the nations together in peaceful rivalisation, in this nightmare place no fair play rules apply. Suprisingly there’s only one country and no guns, no bombs, no trenches, no warplanes. And nothing changes!
Influenced by history of years ’39-45 in Europe, Perec isn’t exactly what we call an optimist in regards to human nature. Human is human, meaning lupus. Tell a man: being first at the finish line is essence of your life, he’d do anything to be there before competitors. Hance all the methods developed to slow down opponents, all these dirty little tricks in changing rooms. Win by all means, this is the message promoted on every step by guys with power. It works.
The climax point is an event consisting of chasing and raping woman. On the stadium of course, it’s just a sport, but sport here means war. Sportsman have to fight each other first than catch who they can. And that’s where children come from if you want to know. Geogre let’s his imagination run wild to say the least. Lots of running on his mind. And nowhere to escape. You probably think about Orwell’s dystopia right now. You should.
The car suddenly veered off the road and we came to a sliding halt in the gravel. I was hurled against the dashboard. My attorney was slumped over the wheel. “What’s wrong?” I yelled. “We can’t stop here. This is bat country!”
Crazy. Serious message between the lines aside, this novel is made to be a joy-ride of fiction. Strictly fun of reading and plain madness. You just sit there and laugh to yourself page after page. Impressive what imagination can do. Take this example. Suddenly there are bats all around. It’s swarming with bats, my god! A bat country? Now add the fact that it’s all happening on the desert in the heat of the sun, well, a perfect habitat for nocutrnal creatures it is. But hey, don’t struggle with deep analizes. It’s pure entertainment. Of course story makes you think, however you don’t really have to. You can just ride with them. Watch and listen. When will be the next time you’d have a chance to get totally wasted in Las Vegas? Don’t worry here’s Thompson doing it all for you. Doing what a good reporter should do. Reporting. Enjoy.
To all the law students. Your future job doesn’t have to be arguing in court that your client wasn’t going to sell his half gram of weed. You might end up guiding some psycho jurnalist, actually not that sober all the time. Sure, I want to belive that.
PS: Why in Wallace’s book slang term for ‘crazy’ is ‘bats’? Does it connect somehow? It sound damn good. She’s going bats over last night. This guy is bats over Pynchon. Looks like bats are not that sane after all.