Dillard Crosses The Paper Divide
J.D. Nasaw '08, English 171, Sages, Satirists, and New Journalists, Brown University, 2005
I am sitting here, you are sitting there. Say even that you are sitting across this kitchen table from me right now. Our eyes meet; a consciousness snaps back and forth. What we know, at least for starters, is: here we—so incontrovertibly—are. This is our life, these are our lighted seasons, and then we die. (You, die, you die; first you go wet, and then you go dry.) In the meantime, in between time, we can see. [page 129]
In this passage from
What is the effect of addressing the reader directly? How would the book be different if Dillard did not cross the divide?
Dillard has us imagine that we are a retired railroad worker or a sculptor, but most often she tells us to become non-human animals, inanimate objects, God and even complex processes such as evolution. Why? Can we really imagine ourselves as evolution? What is the effect?
What are some other uses of the second tense and how are they different from Dillard's use in the above passage?
Last modified 3 December 2006