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2666

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Posted

A change has occurred but it has not been telegraphed. You have to figure out what just happened and where you are. Overall, it contributes to the surreal, dreamlike quality of the book in many sections. Now, am I imposing my disjointed and confused reading on the book or is there something to what I'm describing?

Yes, this is also the feeling I had, and I think this is a deliberate strategy of the author.

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Posted

The fact that part 4 was so hard to get through, that it was monotonous to the point of being boring, despite the plethora of grisly murders, and the fact that the reader does not, and perhaps cannot, care about all the victims is an indication of just how brilliant 2666 is as a critique of humanity, and of the general response of the real-life murders on which those in the books were based.At times, it becomes as bland as an empiricist history book.

It is a wonderfully realistic novel. All the atrocities, characters, events, etc. are just ink on the page. Travel far enough into the future, and the events we live through, and the people we see, listen to, and interact with, will be little more than ink on the historian's page.

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Posted

Would be nice to get this back up to speed and talk about the book. It's a great book.

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Posted

I think the function of part 4 is similar to the section in The Kindly Ones in which the narrator indulges in a lengthy digression about whether or not a tribe in the Causasus are ethnically Jewish or not: if we, as readers, become bored by the level of detail or wish that the writer would hurry past these apparently inconsequential sections then we are implicated in the horror. In both books, as we know, the story is based on real events. Littell's approach may be less direct but the effect is the same, I think. It is an awful realisation to feel yourself becoming immune to or disinterested in monstrous behaviour, but this is how Aue in The Kindly Ones tries to show that he is "just like you".

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Posted

The way a lot of people read the fourth part of 2666 seems similar to the way I read lengthy newspaper articles on gruesome, inhumane, and horrific murders and other such acts of cruelty. I start off interested, curious, and perhaps a bit too ready to be outraged than I would care to admit -convincing people that you are a psychopath helps to facilitate the avoidance of unwanted social interaction- and end up becoming increasingly nonchalant towards the whole thing, until by the halfway point of the article, I end up just skimming it through, shrugging, and finding something else to do.

But I think there is an issue at times of becoming more emotionally attached to characters who die in fiction than deaths that occur IRL. To me, that shows that we don't consider death per se to be a tragedy; the tragedy is in the loss of losing somebody to whom we have become attached. In that regard, a good friend cutting off all contact is much more tragic to the individual than a genocide of a large tribe of people the individual had never heard of until s/he read about the genocide in the newspaper.

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