On Bodies and Spaces and 9/11

Two things, really:

1. I am fascinated by Cayce’s relationship to her body—the various pilates outings, her need to walk, the soul-delay she experiences along with her intense, vertiginous jetlag, her weighty fatigue, the inherently visceral quality of her slogan-reading talents (or phobia or “peculiar sensitivities” (112)). I am thinking too–in connection to physicality–about how this novel structures itself so keenly around the opposition between virtual and physical spaces (the F:F:F, dreams, emails, etc., and then all of the cities, apartments, hotels, parks, coffee shops, office spaces, etc., through which Cayce moves). Is there a claim being made here, on Gibson’s part? On Cayce’s?

We might think too about how “zones of transition” show up in the text, or how/when Cayce seems to experience her body itself as a liminal space or in a liminal state. (For Cayce’s note on how her therapist, Katherine McNally, tagged this word “liminal,” see page 263.)

2. I am not sure how I feel about this novel, in general, but, more specifically, I am not sure how I feel about it being, in a sense, a 9/11 narrative. Maybe this isn’t quite the right way to phrase the question, but I am wondering what kind of narrative momentum is gained through reference to this recent historical and traumatic event? What are some of the effects, in other words, of plotting the story around the disappearance of Cayce’s father on the day the twin towers fell?

One place to go in the book itself to think about these questions would be chapter 15, “Singularity,” which begins “Win Pollard went missing in New York City on the morning September 11, 2001” (137).

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