Saturday, July 14, 2007

Ouroboros update

A reader writes in: "I can beat that Great Expectations thing—in high school, we were not only introduced to Romeo and Juliet through West Side Story, we were introduced to WSS thru the novelisation of the film."

* * *

"What is time? It is a snake that eats its own tail . . . "
—Vonnegut, Breakfast of Champions

* * *



Who wrote this?

Technically, the circle which the present corollary [a short story of the author's] describes (its last sentence existing implicitly before its first one) belongs to the same serpent-biting-its-tail type as the circular structure of the fourth chapter in [another book of the author's] (or, for that matter, Finnegans Wake, which it preceded).

This is the final round, all shall be revealed next week!

Labels: , ,


Blogger Hannah said...

If I might chime in once more: here is the cover of the edition of The Neverending Story I read as a kid, as well as a cover from a different edition.

12:08 PM  
Blogger Ed Park said...


And I always liked how his name was Ende (though I never read the book)...(all I remember now, truly, is a song by Kajagoogoo in the movie version!)

12:11 PM  
Blogger Hannah said...

I associate the movie version with The Point because each has a character made out of a large rock formation.

12:23 PM  
Blogger Jawbone Catrep Dyer said...

New Bonus Answer: That's Nabokov. It's his note on the story "The Cirlcle" and its relationship to The Gift.

4:30 PM  
Blogger Ed Park said...

Well done!

4:47 PM  
Blogger Jawbone Catrep Dyer said...


Also: One, no--one hundred, Ouroboric Novels, by Giorgio Manganelli.

4:59 PM  
Blogger Levi Stahl said...

Does In Search of Lost Time count as an Ouroboros, since it more or less winds right back to where it begins? Or is that too simple?

If not, then I think my favorite ouroboros story is Cees Nooteboom's The Following Story. I particularly like the idea that the afterlife is essentially an ouroboros--isn't that, after all, how many a prehistorical culture understood it?

6:58 PM  
Blogger Ed Park said...

Levi — yes, let's count Nooteboom! I was reminded of something I wrote about it:

The Following Story belongs to that secret genre of novels (Finnegans Wake, Dhalgren, Robert Kelly's The Scorpions) which end without a period—that is, which do not really end. But unlike those knotty, often infuriating recirculations, Nooteboom's novel invites immediate rereading, partly because of its size, but also for the final, Scheherezade whisper, hinting that revelation is just around the corner.

* * *

And the Powell counts, too...

12:46 PM  
Blogger Parkus Grammaticus said...

Oops — here's the link to my Nooteboomiad:,park,32633,1.html

9:05 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home

View My Stats