This Is Not A Novel
Read in the train, it gave me the opportunity to not focus on the individual facts and be in the constant search of who or what they died about, but to read through the full story from beginning to end to appreciate the Writer’s struggle with their own mortality.
The “non-novel” is self-aware and it marks true importance for both the reader and writer. For the writer the importance of self-aware writing is marked as it is a repetitive form that attempts to alleviate his fears of death. For the reader is brings humor and questions about what is being said and why. It also questions the reliability of the narrator.
The short lines and interesting facts provided progress the story and keeps the reader “turning pages nonetheless.” Though this isn’t a novel by any conventional standards (even if the new edition surely looks it from the sheer volume), it still contains within itself a beginning, middle, and end to the character and story. The story’s own arc doesn’t make itself known until the final few pages, when it becomes clear the Writer is also dealing with the issues found within the pages: death.
Perhaps the most important piece of the book lies in the last line, “Farewell and be kind." It is a reminder to be gentle with each other and stay true to ourselves and the world around us. This is the end of the conversation between Reader and Writer. However, the impact on the reader, the heaviness and importance of the final line, is reduced with the new edition of the book. The new edition of the book is now combined with two other stories that follow the same style. And though it is interesting to have a volume of the work, does it not remove the impact of the finality of death in the final lines of This Is Not A Novel?