Just as this reading makes any kind of analysis difficult, it makes a response to an analysis equally as difficult. I enjoyed reading all of the reader’s posts about their observations of particular things that stood out in the structure and format of the novel. Their theories regarding why certain words are used and the flow and rhythm of the narrative are interesting, but analysis on the content of the novel is shaky. No one seems to have a tight grasp on what Danielewski is actually talking about besides the basics, and frankly, neither do I. I am not sure how to respond besides agreeing with the observations made. I have though, made observations of my own which I found interesting.
Although Sam and Hailey are both eternally 16 year-old lovers on a road trip across the country(and apparently time and history as well), everything about their personal experiences with the other person is seemingly contradictory. Very similar experiences occur with similar words used to describe them, but the contradictions within the experiences are confusing and disorienting. These Contradictions seem to be a prominent, overlaying theme I have been able to pick up on contextually. An unfortunate example of this is found on pages 48 of both Sam and Haley. They have sex with each other while 64 years apart apparently, but contradictions in the narratives riddle the entire shared experience. According to Sam, he takes advantage of the situation and sweeps Hailey off her feet: “Is it ever too late to destroy the world? Then surprisingly Hailey Sadsighs and hands me the pack. O. My. Hailey!..I ravenously bounce, sweeping her off my feet”. Though, According to Hailey, she is the one who swept Sam off of his feet: “Though is it ever too late to destroy the world? Then suddenly Sam sighsads and hands back the pack. My. O. Sam!..and then its my turn to pounce”. The intimacy they share is also portrayed very differently. Furthermore, they both describe two different cars awaiting them at the end of this scene, both a Shelby Mustang and a Ford 999 Racer. The Ford 999 was introduced in 1902 (the same year Sam’s experience with Hailey took place) and the Shelby Mustang was introduced in 1965 (the same year Hailey’s experience took place with Sam). I am currently still unsure of the meaning of the contradictions that steep the two narratives so desperately trying to be one in the most confusing way possible.
This observation goes along with what Nikhil is pointing out in regard to the gender switch of “New Hope”. This fixed occurrence is in contradiction with itself depending on the narrative through which it is described. These stark contrasts in narratives both implying similar, present-tense stories occurring decades apart from each other is rampant throughout the novel. Because of this, it is hard to tell whether or not the events told by Sam and Hailey are at all true, or even really happening. Reading this book has made me mentally dizzy trying to piece everythting together and physically dizzy turning the book round and round every 8 pages.
I also discovered through commentary on the novel that every change in narrative requires a 180 degree turn. Completing 8 pages of hailey’s narrative and then 8 pages of Sam’s narrative, thus requires a 360 degree rotation equalling one revolution. Also when the book is open, there are 360 words total on both pages, implying a new revolution occurs with every page turned. We also discovered in class that the numbers inside the page number circles make a complete revolution when you quickly flip the pages. I think these revolutions and their implications in time and change are meant to have profound implications in this book.
This image is what I first thought of when I discovered the connections regarding revolutions within the book. I feel it relates to the story because it is like Sam and Hailey are in the revolving door traveling around and around in time. They are separated into different compartments of the revolving door separated by glass, which is time itself. They can see each other and talk to each other but are never truly in the same place at the same time and are always traveling toward each other with each revolution around and around. Also, as i stated earlier, I feel as though I am spinning around a revolving door when I read this novel. I am ultimately left disoriented and dizzy, though the ride itself was fun while it was happening!