(continuing from the Summer 2013 analysis…)
“Book One, Part Two: No, And Then, Yes.” In the play Death… at the end, two of the three main voices are No and Yes. The other being Maybe. Taking the separation as a choice of No and Yes, it makes the conflict an affirming or denying one. So it attempts to suggest that by personally wanting change, one can enact it. Although this idea seems consistent with the DIY spirit in which the book was written, but how does the DIY spirit reconcile with the perspective and memory dooming the individual prior to the individual themselves?
“The huge poplar trees in my garden are curtains on the city pavements…a vertical judgment.” (pg 12). Here, the gardens are an illusion of nature. Although it is a peaceful place, it’s still in the city. Notice the distinction between vertical landscape and horizontal.
“Maya can suck cock, but she can’t stop time. She clutches the seeds of futures in her throat. The soil is barren…” (pg 12)
The narrator has left the city and wandering through pasture meadows. “You see, the landscapes are horizontal again. The planet is metered in lines, A to B for as far as I can see. A to B and back again. Fair enough, but show me the books and I’ll burn every one of them. On the fire.” (pg 13). Again, the contrast between vertical and horizontal. First reference to the linear perspective, “A to B and back again”. And first reference to burning the books. But it’s willful. It’s the narrator’s threat. Why? Why does the narrator threaten to burn the books? It’s a foreshadow of what’s to come.
“You sneak a look around the corner, take a look and hop along. It’s the first time that you’ve seen me naked…The sad memory of ancient Springtime surges through our veins.” (pg 13). Naturalist description of bodiness. Animalistic, even. But this ancient innocent memory contrasts with everything that the 20th century has dumped upon them. One of the books themes is how to reconcile the possibilities of innocent or life affirming love and body almost without identity, with the desecration of body in the light of identity, history and heavy handed cultural ideology.
No=city, staring up, vertical perspective, garden walls.
Yes=birds, fields, sea, the beginning of body freedom.
If the world around the narrator wasn’t so categorically denied, and the innocent time so idealized, the books wouldn’t need to burn. Burning the books won’t bring ancient Springtime, but this narrator is restless.