“Ouroboric tedium” is very good

by look i have opinions

“[‘The Depressed Person’ is] a brilliant narrative (if something so painfully circular can be said to be a narrative at all) driven by the enactment of unremitting self-consciousness. Its forward motion proceeds at the pace of therapy,which is to say in a series of repetitions and involutions that border on the grotesque; a few developments along the way tug you forward, while the central character, the depressed person herself, never moves off the dime. No matter what happens she is at the bottom of a well and all she can see hear touch feel taste smell is herself. The brilliance of the story is its double action: the free indirect discourse of excruciating self-centeredness and the linguistic play around its ouroboric tedium. Reading it was painful and fascinating. First, there’s the digressive style, and then the interminable footnotes that keep interrupting the flow of the narrative, which as I said is not flowing much at all. It’s a problem, keeping the different tracks running along at the same time, jumping back and forth and up and down on the page.”

—Patricia Vigderman (x)

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