Saturday, 27 August 2016
When Steve Matuchek writes that his story splits three ways:
he confers with Native American gods;
Ginny consults Mimir;
Valeria remains at home.
The riddle that Ginny asks Mimir to solve is the US tax code. Thus, in this chapter, the story becomes a satire. The wise jotun consulted by Odin about the Ragnarok gnaws his beard while struggling to understand income tax.
There is a further point here. We read chapters that are narrated from Ginny's and Valeria's points of view. Thus, in these chapters, third person narration replaces first person narration. For example, Valeria wonders:
"How about rereading a Magister Lazarus book? And, after dinner, playing some music to fall asleep by? Who knew but what Daddy and Mom would both be back when she woke..." (p. 362)
If the entire book had been written from Valeria's pov, then we would accept that this was what she thought. However, Steve has already told us that he had reconstructed this part of the story from information received later and from guesswork. Thus, Valeria might not have thought precisely this. It is her father's guess at the kind of thing that she might have thought.
He has also told us (see here) that his narrative is to be be put under a hundred-year seal so that, in any case, none of his contemporaries and none of Valeria's acquaintances will ever read it. And it is not addressed to us in our timeline as the telepathically broadcast Operation Chaos was. So we are not reading it either. The process of narration becomes ever more mysterious.