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Additional resources for Literary Geographies: Narrative Space in Let the Great World Spin

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The “here and now” of the final chapter, the thirteenth, is primarily New York City in 2006. It is the here and now of these various narrative locations that is reviewed in this chapter. The first section, the opening chapter, is narrated in the context of lower Manhattan, in the streets around the World Trade Center, early in the morning of August 7, 1974. “Those who saw him hushed,” the novel begins. “On Church Street. Liberty. Cortlandt. West Street. Fulton. ” From the very beginning, with this listing of the names of the streets on which the wirewalker’s audience gathered, the setting of the novel is given a documentary specificity.

In describing her experience with the novel, Erin 30 Literary Geographies provides a good example of how reading/listening motivation, speed, and intensity vary in time and according to the social context of the engagement, even for a single reader: “I will admit the first story, about an Irishman and his brother, was very slow for me, and had I not committed for Reading Buddies, I may have given up. ” The importance of reading groups and the influence of social contexts for reading on “the reader” is emphasized again in the comments posted on the blog.

16 These are some of the ways, then, in which “the author” makes up one of the unstable and internally multiple elements in the event of fiction. “The text” makes up a second. 26 Literary Geographies The Tex t While the novel, of course, conventionally maintains its status as a major participant, if not the major participant, in the event of fiction, in the “text as event” view of fiction, the text itself—­even the text in the sense of the definitive version of a novel’s wording—­is no more reliably a singular, self-­contained source of meaning than the author.

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