Just finished reading Tao Lin’s Eee Eee Eee. Any description of the book you read anywhere online doesn’t really do it justice. At first you might think it’s random, or it’s surreal, or it’s magical realism. Or that it’s experimental, or that it’s about nonsense, or no sense, or that it’s just rambling jargon without any purpose or anything like that. Like one long meme puked out in a book form. But on reading the book you get a different sense, you get a different shape of everything.
To me it was different than surrealism, there wasn’t any juxtaposition of odd bits of imagery used to shock us out of complacency. And it’s different than magical realism, which is more about a haunted reality. And it’s definitely not about symbolism, or occult layering, or anything else that strangeness has to offer like in El Topo or anything like that. And it’s not bizzarro, and it’s not juvenile, and not dark and horror laced like the works of Blake Butler or the movies of David Lynch. It’s its own thing, something completely other, something completely distinct.
I think, the strange moments, the unreal moments that unfurl and then crawl out and suffocate the text are stream of conscious fantasies by the main characters. If you listen to the repetitions of the speech patterns, of the daydreaming, if you look at the way each character thinks and moves and views the surroundings around them, the repeat refrains of actions, of inactions, of conversations, of phrases and phrasings, you start to see how it develops and coalesces into an internal reality infringing on the actual reality, to the point of where both blur and all realities are seen through the lens of a rambling, no future nothing ahead nothing behind, characters in the book. Which makes it all the more interesting and all the more poignant, it’s the weird text the rambling text, the dolphins and the hamsters and the bears and the violence and the non violence and the trap doors and the video game like feeling for some sections that make the reality of the book a psychological reality, one that can only exist in a textual narrative.