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September 15, 2019

Chunking* — Or, how to read a book by Neal Stephenson

Screen Shot 2019-09-14 at 6.39.35 AM

As I reached page ninety-something of "D.O.D.O." yesterday morning, it became evident that it was time to perform the delicate surgery that enhances Neal Stephenson's magnificent, massive, Morton's-steak-like novels.

What I do is carefully separate the book's backing and attached pages into four or so more manageable segments, each easily held by one hand, which is how I like to proceed when ensconced on my reading couch.

Waking from a nap induced by a daydreamy envisioning of glamour**, it occurred to me that reading "D.O.D.O." is very much like entering the ODEC: your own world, when you put the book down, seems to have become contingent, a sheaf of possibilities all in play for becoming the next moment.

*Not the former name of the Chinese city of Chongqing

**The shimmering produced by overlapping universes in the book

September 15, 2019 at 10:01 AM | Permalink


I find the title in German interesting: Der Aufstieg und Fall des D.O.D.O. In German, Fall means 'case' so the title translates to 'The Rise and Case of D.O.D.O.' But it is apparent that Fall is meant in its English sense, although 'fall' in German is Untergang. It is a curious example of the encroachment of English into German, all the more merkwürdig because it involves a replacement vice a supplement. (Hey! if they can do it with English, I can do it with German.)

Posted by: antares | Sep 16, 2019 7:08:18 PM

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