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Richard Walker

The Interrogative Mood

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Edited by Richard Walker, Thursday, 10 Mar 2016, 23:28

(As grammar geeks do) I was reading a history of punctuation past and present, and it pointed me to Padgett Powell's remarkable novel The Interrogative Mood.

I took a quick Look Inside, and found an irresistible Buy with 1-Click.

Every sentence in the book is a question, but they are not random; each is a sort of surreal reflection that glues itself to your mind and makes you think what your answer is, or could be, or might be. 

The questions are grouped in sections, within those paragraphs, and there is a kind of elusive logic that binds each to its neighbours.

For example

"Do like it when your body is sore? Had you the opportunity, would you attend clown school? Will you linger to see a sunset more readily than you might get up to see a sun rise?"

(ME: Sorta. Yes. Yes.)

"Do you have a specific length shorts must be? Is Santa Claus in your view essentially a pedophile? How long would it take you to get over a house fire that destroyed everything you owned and thought dear to you?"

"Would you rather have a swimming pool or a small private gymnasium? Do you have any experience that that suggests there was a higher water table when you were a child than there is now?"

200 pages. 2000 questions. I don't know what to make of this book but I'm glad it exists. Are we in agreement on this point or would you rather read about ways of attracting woodland birds in larch forests, without employing any artificial aids?

Permalink 1 comment (latest comment by Cathy Lewis, Friday, 11 Mar 2016, 07:15)
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