ground the text provides for explorations for thematic substance on the lines of postmodernist literarythought. The minimalism adopted by Sarah is to such a severe degree that it presents a narrative built on avery skeletal structure of descriptivism.
Between staccatos and rambles
Thorough out the 53 page work there is not a single metaphor or simile or any of the other usual poeticdevices that generally literary works are characterized by. The word constructions are such that thenarrative varies between staccato and ramblings and narrative modes that appear to address an audience(reader) and then appears to be self addressed, and thereby creates a string of ambiguities. At certain points in the story the narrator displays a psyche disjointed from the fullness of one’s ‘being’ –body andmind. The reason to make such observations is that at times the speaker seems to attribute certain body parts as almost autonomous! The following is demonstrative of this quality –“First this foot moves thenthe other foot moves how do the feet know how to move one after the other to take one to a place whereone decides to go.”(p.22) Please note that the text does not have a question mark at the end of the linequoted. No, it’s doubtful that it could a typographical error/omission. The whole text does not provide thesign of the question mark though lines may carry the tone of a ‘question’. Once again the ambiguity of thespeaker’s intentions comes out strongly through this technique that leaves even the idea of ‘what is aquestion (?)’ open to discuss. After all if it’s in the strict privacy of one’s own consciousness, are therereally question marks and exclamation marks at the end of the line? That is exactly what ‘Hand to Bone’representational of in the narrative it presents.
Objectivity of observations and existential vistas
Observations of the narrator are very fact like with stringent objectivity, stripping phenomena down to the‘physically’ factual with little or no emotions being attached to the descriptions be it a thing, a person or act. It is by far the most introverted interior monologue I have come across and shows at times a snap shotdiscursive through staccato sequences of images which are utterly banal. Pages 33-34 has a fourteen linesentence what seems like a madness of repetitions that makes one wonder is the consciousnessrepresented one of an autistic person? The narrative shows the instantaneity of perceiving (an object, person, phenomena) but not as the primary basis in terms of the ‘perception point’ presented to the reader.Such instantaneity is not the norm of the text but the refection and recollection of acts and phenomena.This vantage crafted by Sarah almost makes the narrator depict a voyeuristic self depiction whichresonates strongly with the theme of identity and the dilemma of an existential being. The fact that thereare no solutions sought to the existential dilemma like in modernist literature (such as Albert Camus’sThe Outsider) Sarah presents a quintessential postmodernist approach where no solutions are sought for the existential reality and instead devises (a) play within it.
Stripping identity to the ‘bone’
The narrative’s end brings the reader to a place where there seems some cessation is intended, however if it is a complete cessation or a symbolic one meant to show the end of what the reader is privy to of thenarrator’s perceptions (through the numerous faculties) is unclear. ‘Minimalism’ as a the technique hastaken an all pervasive quality to define the existential groundings in Sarah’s work which presents a notionof ‘facelessness’ through the narrator, who may not be labeled, and identified in terms of name,occupation, or even gender (though the tone may imply a female consciousness) and thereby develops a