Tuesday, February 12, 2019

An Analysis of William T. Vollmann’s The Visible Spectrum Essay

The projection of interpreting William T. Vollmanns works seems as monumental for the reader as writing the story oneself. The text of The Visible Spectrum, in fact, does not make any extensively challenging vocabulary or oddly defeat subject matter yet it would seem that in all of its objectivity and transp bency, there lies no obvious, dominant or intended interpretation. The history is ambiguous in its message to an infinite degree, and thus the reader moldiness construct its meaning given only scraps of discontinuous plot, comment and dialogue. Vollmanns story concentrates on the private experiences of individuals in a hospital. The grossness of the setting allows the reader to make necessary assumptions about the locale, timing and adjudicate of these hospital visits, also permitting the author flexibility in selecting events to comprise the plot. The universality of the hospital experience (lingering in the waiting room, a doctors examination, and a nurses questioning, for example) encourages the reader to relate to these private events in a shared, public manner. In this way, Vollmann relies upon ones knowledge of hospital procedure to make greater comments about other institutions and society in general. Using a pseudo-scientific, case-study approach, The Visible Spectrum correlates the ideologies of a hospital to that of society. Vollmanns sociological critique describes the hospital as a microcosm of the society in which it is situated although theoretically structured, efficient and beneficial to its patrons, in practice, however, the institution (and likewise, society) veils its omnipotence in the whoremaster of an individuals agency and self-determination, while acting... ...aims to a final intrust or refuge for humanity, but rather concludes its hospital-as-society metaphor with a semi-entropic monstrance of sociological reality as counter-utopian, desolate and irreparable.WORKS CITED1. Vollmann, William T. Th e Visible Spectrum. postmodernist American Fiction. Ed. Paula Geyh et al. New York, NY W. W. Norton & Company, 1998. 153-161. 1 I suppose that characterization is not particularly necessary in this story, as one is able to connect with a character given the generality of his or her experience (having blood drawn, for example).2 On another note, a discussion of veins and blood seems necessary in Vollmanns work. In one sub-chapter, People without Veins (Vollmann, 157), it appears as though the author is hinting that the vein-less individuals (who are therefore also blood-less) are inhuman, almost robotic

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