incomplete

both the navidson and reston interviews are missing. much of the other information zampano wished to include is also missing. to get the full story of johnny truant we have to read letters from far before the story began. later in the book, entire pages or passages are missing–truant tells us they are either burnt or blotched out. what is danielewski trying to say?

in fiction, one never gets the whole story, no matter how omnipotent the narrator is. one doesn’t know every detail of each character’s life that made them that way and no matter how much detail the author gives us, we are never fully able to understand the world they’ve created as they see it in their head.

danielewski toys with this idea in many ways. first, instead of truant telling us about his mother and father, he only alludes to it. some authors would just leave it at this, others would have him tell the audience or the editors why he is like the way he is. instead, danielewski includes the letters his mom has sent him so we can experience directly his experience and, in a way, closes the gap between narrator and reader.

i’d lie if i said i wasn’t disappointed when i turned to the back and found both the navidson and the reston interviews missing. i wanted to know what they said. i wanted to know the opinion of two imaginary characters from an imaginary movie in an imaginary book written by an imaginary man discovered by another imaginary man. in doing this, danielewski is pointing out that we cannot always know the thoughts of the characters. he could have just as easily never given us the idea that there were interviews with these characters and we may not have known the difference but the fact that he does leaves us yearning for more and paying even closer attention to how the characters act in hopes of finding the person lying under the action.