Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Sure, they let us in

As may be obvious from previous posts, I've been doing an essay on Saul Bellow. This has required fairly intensive reading of A Silver Dish, and I've noticed a very curious sentence in it, in the second part, when Woody and Pop are just about to visit Mrs Skoglund.

She is described as dreaming of the Second Coming, which could be hastened by reaching the hearts of people like these two "scheming bums", Woody and Pop. The next line is:


Sure, they let us in.


There are no quotation marks so it appears to come from the voice of the narrator. This shift to first-person is unique in the story.

It could be read as a universal first person, from the point-of-view of Mrs Skoglund, referring to the harvesting of lost souls, or it could refer to Woody and Pop, thereby more closely linking the narrator to Woody. Or it could be a mistake. Or something else.

Very odd.

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