Dave Eggers's You Shall Know Your Velocity (!) is a novel that does not properly offers itself as a “novel,” but rather as a composite narrative work mainly made of two contrasting parts. In fact, You Shall Know Your Velocity was first published in 2002, and featured the character of Will as main narrator. In early 2003 Eggers published a new edition of the novel, titled Sacrament (2003), where he added 49 pages featuring the point of view of the second protagonist (Hand) which heavily confuted the narration of facts previously made by Will. What is particularly interesting is that, in this work, Eggers seems to question the reliability of the narrator outside the boundaries of the single text and creates instead a tension between two different texts. In other words, his work loses its status as a self-contained novel and rather calls for being defined as some sort of narrative work-in-progress to which the reader can add new pieces of information progressively. The particular nature of the “Hand” addition, which was both published aside (on the McSweeney's website) and inserted at the very heart of a later edition of the book, leaving the rest of the text unvaried, does not only question the traditional concept of revision (asking for a postmodern redefinition of it?) but provides the reader with puzzling elements for interpreting the two protagonists, Will and Hand, and their different embodiment of the complex figure of the 21st century American abroad.

"'The Futility of Time In Between': Americans Abroad in Dave Eggers's You Shall Know Our Velocity (!)”

FRANCESCATO, Simone
2012

Abstract

Dave Eggers's You Shall Know Your Velocity (!) is a novel that does not properly offers itself as a “novel,” but rather as a composite narrative work mainly made of two contrasting parts. In fact, You Shall Know Your Velocity was first published in 2002, and featured the character of Will as main narrator. In early 2003 Eggers published a new edition of the novel, titled Sacrament (2003), where he added 49 pages featuring the point of view of the second protagonist (Hand) which heavily confuted the narration of facts previously made by Will. What is particularly interesting is that, in this work, Eggers seems to question the reliability of the narrator outside the boundaries of the single text and creates instead a tension between two different texts. In other words, his work loses its status as a self-contained novel and rather calls for being defined as some sort of narrative work-in-progress to which the reader can add new pieces of information progressively. The particular nature of the “Hand” addition, which was both published aside (on the McSweeney's website) and inserted at the very heart of a later edition of the book, leaving the rest of the text unvaried, does not only question the traditional concept of revision (asking for a postmodern redefinition of it?) but provides the reader with puzzling elements for interpreting the two protagonists, Will and Hand, and their different embodiment of the complex figure of the 21st century American abroad.
Democracy and Difference: the US in Multidisciplinary and Comparative Perspectives.Papers from the 2011 AISNA Conference
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/10278/35662
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