Pattern Recognition
William Gibson

One sentence positioned oddly.:.

When the boy from the counter sorts it for her, she writes: I went there.

The protagonist is reported as keyboarding from a Russian cafe in Russia and is experiencing trouble:

The keyboard is Cyrillic; she keeps accidently hitting a key that toggles it back from English-emulation, and then being unable to find it again, but she manages to retrieve a message from Parkaboy.

The text then presents, in the version I have read, the message from Parkaboy. It is indented from both left and right margins and presented in different weight and face. The text then returns to the narrator's voice:

She tries to reply but hits that toggle again.

And then what I call the oddly positioned sentence appears. It is typographically part of the reply it seems to introduce. This reply is in presented in the same weight and face as the message from Parkaboy. Except the indentation appears different. Only appears different: indented from the right margin, yes; indented from the left margin, yes. But because the first line of the paragraphs typographically representing the level of narrator are indented to the same position and given that the two paragraphs surrounding the reply are single sentences that do not run onto the next line, the impression is given of a block being set flush left.

Did then the protagonist describe herself in the third person? Possible, after all we are reading parts of messages without the addressing information and therefore perhaps not reading complete messages.

Typographical error?

Certainly overdetermination. The reply plays with the diectic "here" whose scope of reference seems to move as the focus of the protagonist shifts from cafe to back at the hotel in the breadth of a few short sentences. A case of metalepsis crops up in the context of determining who is where. Coincidence? With all the diectic play that "you" conjures?

No doubt the sign of a crisis:

A rush of sheer mortality.

.:. No. A pattern. Not a toggle pattern. A triangulation. The hand of the typographer. The voice of the narrator. The gesture of the character. All in the mind of a reader rethinking pattern making.

Rethought from the angle of overdetermination. The Chapter in which the typographical finesse is to be found is called "PUPPENKOPF". Earlier in "THE DIG" [the chapter titles appear in caps and in a lighter weight than the body text -- nice typographic comment on a certain lightheadedness or puppetheadedness], the narrator describes the character as story-shifting: "Or rather she lives now in that story, her life left somewhere behind, like a room she's stepped out of. Not far away at all but she is no longer in." A toggle foretold.

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