By Hans Busk
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One and I share the same character . are one . . . one always starts with I . one . . . alone . . . . sole . . . . . . single . . . . . . I (2004, p. 7) This is the first time that the reader encounters Trawl’s unique way of including gaps as extended blank spaces that separate words and sentences, except that these gaps, unlike the gaps seen in The Unfortunates and House Mother Normal (both novels were written later in Johnson’s career), are different. The gaps in Trawl are represented by a number of periods, directly representing the length of time that has passed between each thought/utterance.
6 Experiments with Form Philip Tew states: ‘Formal experimentation serves to function as an ongoing perceptual recognition of the nature of things, for reality and consequently truth lie at the heart of the enterprise that moves toward a perception of the concrete and material’ (2001, p. 11). B. S. Johnson begins the ‘Introduction’ to Aren’t You Rather Young to Be Writing your Memoirs (1973) by referring to the advent of the first cinema in Ireland in 1909, opened by James Joyce, and he stresses the ramifications it had for the contemporary novelist.
The interest in the visual sign and its location on the graphic surface of the page can drastically alter representation and interpretation. White says: ‘I would like to call approaches to literary representation through the graphic surface graphic mimesis’ (2005, p. 91). ‘Graphic mimesis’ is representation that occurs directly on the graphic surface of the page through the implementation of a visual device in a print book. It can point the reader towards the physical artefact’s manifestation that they hold in their hands and provide a more effective representation of the complexities of internal realities.